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Surgeons’ Group Urges Americans to Learn to Stop the Bleed

The American College of Surgeons encouraged people to take just an hour to learn how to save someone who has suffered a traumatic injury and could bleed to death without simple but lifesaving measures.

People participating in a Stop the Bleed training program using a manikin.
With the help of Hans the manikin, students in the Stop the Bleed program learn how to apply tourniquets at Harborview Medical Center. In emergency situations, severe bleeding is a common cause of death for trauma patients.
TNS/Alan Berner
It takes just one hour of training for any citizen to learn how to step in and save someone’s life from uncontrolled bleeding.

That was the message from American College of Surgeons (ACS) Executive Director and CEO Patricia Turner last week on National Stop the Bleed Day, which falls on the Thursday of National EMS Week each year.

Uncontrolled bleeding from traumatic injury is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, according to the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT).

“Injuries that cause uncontrolled bleeding can happen anywhere, anytime and often occur in everyday situations,” COT chair Jeffrey Kerby said in a press release. “Programs such as Stop the Bleed are vital to increase education about bleeding control and to teach everyone that they can save lives by using simple techniques taught in the program.”

Nearly 4 million people have been trained by the ACS Stop the Bleed program with three techniques to control bleeding: apply direct pressure on the wound; pack the wound; and apply a tourniquet.

“Too often, my colleagues and I have been unable to save a trauma patient’s life because of extensive blood loss,” Turner said in the press release. “But we know that as more and more people learn this lifesaving skill, we can save more patients, who could be you or someone you love, if bleeding can be controlled in the field, on the street, or in your backyard.”