“No one should bleed to death from an extremity wound,” said David A. Spain, MD, FACS, the Ned and Carol Spieker Professor and Chief of Acute Care Surgery, who leads Stanford’s effort to bring Stop the Bleed training to the community. “There are a lot of preventable deaths that occur before EMS gets there.” Stanford has trained more than 20 members of its trauma unit to teach the course, he said.
“Trauma is a team sport,” said Graeme Rosenberg, MD, a third-year surgery resident who taught the class at Sequoia. “Good emergency care by bystanders can help us out and save lives.”
After a presentation about the ABCs of Bleeding, the Sequoia students donned latex gloves and learned how to apply pressure, pack wounds and set tourniquets from experts in emergency and trauma care, including Spain, Rosenberg, Trauma Surgeon Tim Browder, MD; OEM Administrative Director Brandon Bond; and Clinical Nurse Specialist Michelle Woodhall, RN.
“High Schools are a potential place for a mass casualty, so they are a natural place to start the community education campaign,” said Browder.
The recent events in Manchester, England made the hands-on training all the more relevant to this group of students. “I feel more prepared than other kids my age,” said Sequoia student Luseane Haunga, after carefully packing a wound with gauze. Students used artificial limbs equipped with lacerations and puncture and gunshot wounds to practice their craft. “I feel like I’d be able to be a first responder.”
“These kids are now extensions of our trauma team,” said Spain, who leads Stanford Trauma. “Every person we add to the team makes us stronger. I’m happy this effort is spreading across the country.”
The Stop the Bleed campaign has been compared to earlier public health efforts that educated ordinary citizens about using the Heimlich maneuver and CPR to save lives. Stop the Bleed training is taking place across the country, in schools, churches and community centers.
Stanford Trauma has purchased training kits, and is planning to offer more classes to the public in the next month or two. “We are hoping this fall to start up again in the schools and be able to leave bleeding control kits as a gift from Stanford,” said Spain. “But the kits are about $600 each, so funding would be helpful.”