By Aimée Lutkin 7/02/18 2:30pm
BleedingControl.org, an group begun by the American College of Surgeons, has successfully campaigned for a national Stop The Bleed Day; the organization believes that many lives could be saved if ordinary citizens had some basic information on how to stop traumatic bleeding in an emergency situation. Reporter and certified EMT Tim Mak rounded up the most critical points on the day dedicated to bleeding awareness in an effort to teach more people how to save lives.
Medical School Offers Bleeding Control Training
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Stop the Bleed® program continues to empower the general public to make a difference in a life-threatening emergency by teaching them the basic techniques of bleeding control. As more College members work to promote this program in their institutions and communities, medical students are also being trained, as well as high school students in at-risk areas in urban settings.
The Agnew Surgical Society at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine shares their experience offering bleeding control workshops to high school students.
University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Perelman School of Medicine
Agnew Surgical Society
In the early moments after natural and intentional trauma, bystanders are often present before the arrival of first responders. While the number of violent offenses continues to decrease in Philadelphia, the city remains one of the most violent cities in the United States, with the Center for Disease Control recording firearm-related deaths in Philadelphia above the national average year after year. The trauma from these deaths lasts well beyond the months following the initial event, and often is widespread to affect families, friends, and the school environment. The goal of the Stop the Bleed Campaign is to prevent deaths from exsanguination by teaching the community basic bleeding control. Our target population for this program is Philadelphia high school-aged youth.
Our Stop the Bleed workshops are hosted by Penn trauma surgeons, nurse practitioners, hospital chaplains, and senior medical students. The sessions are divided into two parts. The first portion is reserved for training and certification in first response, appropriate tourniquet use, and wound packing with gauze and hemostatic agents for major bleeding. High school students gain hands-on practice with state-of-the-art mannequins and combat application tourniquets. The second portion of training is a safe-space reserved for building relationships within the community, and discussing paths into the field of medicine for youth participants—encouraging the development of the next generation of providers. Students have shared stories of prior trauma that either they or close contacts have experienced, including friends and family members killed by gang-related violence. Senior medical students work as mentors, providing advice and guidance for successful application to undergraduate universities and graduate programs.
Thus far workshops have included student participants from Philadelphia’s Sayre and West Philadelphia High Schools. Both schools have had troubled histories, with Sayre nearly closing in the early 2000s due to poor standardized testing and low student graduation rates. However, both Sayre and West Philadelphia High School, now in a new location since 2011, are working with several after-school community organizations to nurture young minds, develop skills, and keep students off the streets and progressing in their education. Our ultimate hope with this initiative is to empower these at-risk youths not only to feel confident and take action in the face of trauma from firearm violence, but also to gain exposure to medicine and higher education, setting goals and bolstering potential.