Program teaches lifesaving trauma techniques

A campaign called Stop the Bleed offers lectures and hands-on training for students learning lifesaving trauma techniques to help keep an emergency situation stable until first responders can arrive.

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 2:50 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2018 2:57 PM

It's a nightmare scenario that's increasingly being viewed as a possibility, especially for students across the United States: emergency medical treatment for massive trauma.

"Let's say you've found someone who's bleeding. You've assessed the situation. You've decided that it's safe for you to enter. You've called for help or assigned somebody to do that. What do you do?" Dr. Habeeba Park, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, asks while training high school students in skills that she hopes they never have to use. "You're trying to save this person's life."

Park's lessons are part of a campaign called Stop the Bleed, which holds special significance in a year marked by campus violence. In 2018 alone, more than 30 people have been killed in school shootings across the country, including 17 in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician-in-chief at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, said that when he was in school, "I didn't worry about whether I was going to be shot, and I didn't worry about whether there was going to be a mass casualty at my school or my city. It's a different world."

Through lectures and hands-on training, instructors teach how to apply tourniquets, pack wounds and keep the situation stable until first responders can arrive. These are techniques that were once reserved solely for members of the military, said Scalea, who is not involved in the campaign.

"You hear these things on the news, and you're like, that's sad, but when it's close to you or happening to you, it's a different thing altogether," said Angel Onons, a high school junior student in the Houston area, not far from where 10 people were killed at Santa Fe High School in May.

She got Stop the Bleed certified, which involved participating in a few hours of lectures and demonstrating the skills involved, just ahead of the 2018-19 school year.

"All the things we probably didn't take seriously, because of what happened [at Santa Fe High], we started to take it seriously," Onons said. "Even the drills that we had, it became more intense, and people's emotions were put into everything they were doing."

Stop the Bleed began after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

"If we go back to Sandy Hook, about a third of those children could have been saved, had we had this operational," Scalea said. "The paramedics aren't going to get there right away."

The campaign -- an initiative of the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus, a set of recommendations on active shooter and other mass casualty events by one of the association's committees -- aims to provide training and credible information on bleeding control.

Instructors are trained through the program. Anyone can sign up to take classes, which are popular with schools and workplaces.

In a mass-casualty scenario, every second can make a difference.

According to the American College of Surgeons, people with especially severe injuries can bleed to death within five minutes. "This is a disease of time. The clock starts ticking when you get hurt, not when you get to the hospital," Scalea said.

Yassmin Falahat, a Houston-area high school student, is also getting her certification ahead of the new school year. "Kids my age don't really want to think about all the possibilities that can happen," she said. "When you're doing these [lifesaving] things, they could be screaming or yelling and telling you to stop, and you just have to continue."

For 17-year-old Maddison Stueckler, it was the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, in June that was on her mind as she too got Stop the Bleed certified. The shooting happened only minutes from where she goes to school.

"Along with the CPR that we learn in health class high school, this should be something that we learn, because it's happening everywhere," Stueckler said. "It happened 20 miles from where I live, and it's happening all over the place."

Scalea agreed: "I never thought we were going to need to do this. But we do. And this is arming the public with power. It's a powerful tool, the ability to save a life."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11920692
Lake5432248
Elkhart347058
Allen2902133
St. Joseph205169
Hamilton1665101
Cass16449
Hendricks1446100
Johnson1325118
Porter80238
Tippecanoe7599
Clark68144
Vanderburgh6816
Madison67264
LaPorte60527
Howard59458
Bartholomew59345
Kosciusko5704
Marshall5308
Noble50128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4783
Boone47444
Delaware46952
Hancock46036
Shelby43525
Floyd40444
Morgan33631
Monroe32928
Grant30926
Dubois2976
Henry29717
Montgomery29720
Clinton2893
White26810
Decatur25532
Dearborn25423
Lawrence25225
Vigo2478
Warrick24329
Harrison21722
Greene19332
Miami1922
Jennings17912
Putnam1728
DeKalb1674
Scott1639
Wayne1536
Daviess15017
Perry1459
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1332
Franklin1278
Ripley1277
Wabash1152
Carroll1132
Gibson1132
Fayette1057
Whitley1045
Newton10010
Starke983
Huntington932
Randolph794
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington681
Knox670
Clay665
Pulaski661
Rush613
Posey550
Owen521
Benton510
Spencer501
Adams491
Sullivan471
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Tipton321
Switzerland300
Martin240
Parke230
Ohio220
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 62856

Reported Deaths: 3032
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11433443
Cuyahoga8786393
Hamilton6563207
Lucas2889305
Marion274039
Montgomery237835
Summit2299209
Pickaway221641
Mahoning1907239
Butler176747
Columbiana135060
Stark1196114
Lorain109769
Trumbull103277
Warren94525
Clark79310
Delaware67515
Fairfield64317
Tuscarawas60110
Lake57022
Belmont56722
Medina56632
Licking56012
Miami50331
Portage48759
Wood47451
Clermont4537
Ashtabula44544
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3635
Allen34841
Greene3229
Mercer29510
Erie26722
Holmes2575
Darke25326
Huron2382
Madison2139
Ottawa16624
Sandusky15715
Washington14420
Coshocton1413
Ross1393
Crawford1385
Putnam13415
Hardin12312
Morrow1211
Athens1111
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1052
Muskingum961
Union931
Monroe8917
Hancock851
Lawrence820
Preble821
Hocking809
Clinton791
Guernsey793
Shelby744
Williams742
Logan681
Fulton660
Scioto650
Carroll643
Ashland632
Wyandot625
Brown601
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland491
Van Wert451
Perry411
Seneca402
Henry330
Paulding280
Jackson270
Pike270
Adams251
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble130
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan120
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Huntington
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Breezy, Sunny Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events