Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. Actions taken in the first minutes after mass casualty events, like the marathon bombing, can save lives that would otherwise be lost.
Lahey Health offered free training to teach how to stop uncontrolled bleeding on National Stop the Bleed Day, which was March 31. Fifty individuals from as close as Burlington and Billerica and as far away as Seekonk, learned how to stop bleeding and save lives at the training held at the Burlington Marriot. Participants ranged from a Natick High School math teacher to Seekonk police officers and a Billerica couple.
“Bystanders are essentially the first members of the medical team that renders aid to a bleeding victim, so that by the time the victim arrives in the trauma center, he’s got the best possible chance of survival because those techniques that we would apply in the hospital started as soon as the person was injured,” said Sandi Mackey, MSN, RN, Lahey Health Trauma Program manager. She and Denise Buckley, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, Beverly Hospital Trauma Program manager, taught one-hour sessions.
The Stop the Bleed program originated from the Hartford Consensus, a committee that met after the mass casualty disaster at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in 2012. The majority of victims from the shooting died from hemorrhaging, which is considered a preventable cause of death.
Participants learned the “ABCs” of trauma response: A (Alert), call 911; B (Bleeding), find the bleeding injury; C (Compress), apply pressure to stop the bleeding by covering the wound with a clean cloth (if possible) and applying pressure by pushing on it directly with both hands OR using a tourniquet OR packing (stuffing the wound with gauze or a clean cloth and then applying pressure with both hands.
“We cannot predict when we will have injuries or the types of injuries we will have,” said Mackey. “But we can train people so that if this ever does happen in their community or their school system, anyone can apply these techniques very quickly to increase the chance of survival.”