Doctors are teaming up with civilians to teach wound care basics should the unexpected occur.
An American College of Surgeons’ initiative known as Stop the Bleed, which trains civilians in identification and treatment of life-threating wounds, was brought to Co-op City at Bartow Community Center on Thursday, March 30.
The class, designed to help everyday people stop or slow bleeding and buy time for paramedics to arrive, was hosted by Jacobi Medical Center in conjunction with Community Board 10.
Jacobi had already had its security personnel take the class, said Dr. John McNelis, Jacobi surgery chairman. The class is between 90 and 120 minutes.
The course trains people in compression and pressure for life-threatening bleeding, how to pack a wound and how to use a tourniquet.
“We are teaching simple techniques to treat injuries that may occur anywhere,” said McNelis, adding that the training is not all that different from educating people in CPR and defibrillator use.
Applying pressure and using a tourniquet is something simple that anyone can do, said the doctor.
“We think it’s important to teach people a really usable skill that may one day save a life,” said McNelis.
He explained that with an extremity wound to a major blood vessel, such a Femoral artery in a leg, the actions taken by individuals could prevent exsanguination, or major blood loss.
The Stop the Bleed initiative grew out of the experiences of medical personnel at the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, CT in 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 children and several adults when an armed gunman stormed an elementary school.
A doctor that examined the wounds that killed the Sandy Hook victims, Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, spearheaded Stop the Bleed after determining in some cases the wounds that led to several deaths might not have been fatal if pressure was immediately applied, said McNelis.
Jacobs, Connecticut’s Hartford Hospital Trauma Institute’s director, visited Jacobi on Tuesday, February 28 to address medical personnel about the education and training initiative.
The Stop the Bleed training, which includes a short informational video, was designed to save lives in ‘Black Swan’ events like Sandy Hook or the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, but could work in cases where people are in accidents and need immediate help, said McNelis.
The information is more likely to be useful for situations that arise with one or two injured people, than they are on a mass scale, said McNelis.
Retired firefighter and community activist John Marano, who was trained in similar techniques to the ones taught in Stop the Bleed, said he believes the training is a good idea because there are definitely opportunities for EMS to be held up in traffic or otherwise delayed.
“I think it is a good idea for Jacobi to take a proactive approach,” said Marano, adding that if people know these techniques they can help their family.
The hospital is in the process of planning other Stop the Bleed events, said a Jacobi spokesman.
For more information on Stop the Bleed, visit bleed