LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – In the event of a mass shooting like the one in South Florida, one program aims to teach people how to treat life-threatening bleeding wounds before first responders arrive.
“If the bleedings controlled, it makes it a lot easier. We can do a lot more for those patients than if they were to bleed out in the moment,” said Jacqueline Venable, Trauma Program Manager at Lafayette General.
‘Stop the Bleed‘ initially was launched in October of 2015 by the White House.
In December, Lafayette General teamed up with the E.M.S. Council of Acadiana, Acadian Ambulance, and local law enforcement officials, to teach Lafayette High students about the program.
It’s a national awareness campaign and call to action, to encourage the public to become empowered to help in a bleeding emergency.
“It’s crucial because if you can have a relatively significant injury be controlled by a bystander, it could really have a large impact on that limb or that life later on down the road,” said John Witt, Quality Improvement Coordinator with Acadian Ambulance.
If you’re suffering from a life threatening wound, it could be just a matter of minutes or even seconds, before you bleed out. That’s why it’s so crucial to get training on how to use a tourniquet, or how to pack a wound, in order to save lives.
The ‘Stop the Bleed’ packages provide hands-on experience. They are equipped with 2 extremities simulators with fake wounds, for people to practice packing and using the tourniquet on.
“You take the gauze and then you open it up, and then you just start to slowly stuffing it in there,” said Witt.
If you don’t have gauze available, you can use something similar like a t-shirt. Once the wound is packed, you wrap the excess gauze around the wound until it stops bleeding.
“Just like the tourniquet would do on the outside, it’ll compress the veins and arteries to slow the bleeding down, so you can get them to some definitive care, where they can get some surgical interventions,” said Witt.
If you have a tourniquet, you want to place it about 2 inches above the wound.
Also, be sure to tell paramedics the time frame for when it was applied. Witt says the ‘Stop the Bleed’ program is essential.
“It’s not hard to do, you learn a little about patient care and some first aid techniques, and it can really impact someone’s life for the positive,” said Witt.
“We are trying to devise a plan of how we can get this to more students and public places as well,” said Venable.
If you’re interested in the training, visit TraumaServices@lgh.org.