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Healthy Living Blog

Stop the Bleed

May 23, 2019 | Andrea Wetherill, MSN, RN


May is National Trauma Awareness Month.

Wetherill, Andrea 2Fisher-Titus is a Level 3 trauma center specializing in the care of a wide spectrum of trauma. Our emergency health care professionals are well versed in trauma care and with our recent partnership with MetroHealth our knowledge base, expertise, and care will continue to enhance the lives of our community. With this, many of our community members will be able to stay close to home should trauma impact their lives.

Physical trauma is categorized as blunt, blast or penetrating. The most common causes of traumatic injury may include: vehicle crashes, gunshots wounds, stab wounds, lacerations, falls, burns or non- accidental trauma, such as physical abuse or assault.

When traumatic injuries occur, blood loss, otherwise known as hemorrhaging, results in high levels of preventable fatality. Research surrounding blood loss fatalities led to an initiative by the American College of Surgeons to educate the public on hemorrhage control.

This program, Stop the Bleed, provides education tools and resources to the public about bleeding control techniques. In the event that a traumatic injury resulting in external bleeding occurs, individuals are prepared to react while awaiting help from local first responders. Stop the Bleed teaches individuals how to identify, react, and treat active bleeding.

The class includes hands on instruction on tourniquet application, appropriate dressing application, and direct pressure application to limit blood loss. Similar to learning CPR, bleeding control techniques save lives.

Fisher-Titus highly supports this initiative. In the near future, Fisher Titus will be offering this course to the community, including local schools. Upon completion of the course, educators at our local schools will receive hemorrhage control kits to utilize in the event that a situation warranting hemorrhage control presents. If your organization is interested in participating in this initiative, feel free to contact Fisher-Titus to set up a course. Fisher-Titus offers this course free of charge.

How to stop the bleed

Here are the basic steps from bleedingcontrol.org that make up stop the bleed:

Call 9-1-1. The first step should be for you or someone else to call 9-1-1.

Ensure your own safety. Before you offer any help, make sure you are safe. If you also become injured, you won’t be able to help the victim so only provide care if the scene is safe to do so. If at any time the scene becomes unsafe, attempt to remove yourself and the victim, if possible, from danger and move to a safe location. If available, wear gloves to protect yourself from blood-borne infections.

Look for life-threatening bleeding. Find the source of the bleeding and open or remove the clothing over the wound so you can clearly see it. Look for and identify “life-threatening” bleeding. Examples include:

  • Blood that is spurting out of the wound
  • Blood that won’t stop coming out of the wound
  • Blood that is pooling on the ground
  • Clothing that is soaked with blood
  • Bandages that are soaked with blood
  • Loss of all or part of an arm or leg
  • Bleeding in a victim who is now confused or unconscious

Compress and control. There are several methods that can be used to stop bleeding but they all have one thing in common: compressing a bleeding blood vessel in order to stop the bleeding. Stop by the hospital’s booth Sunday at the Strawberry Festival to learn more about Stop the Bleed and other safety tips for the summer!

Andrea Wetherill, is the trauma program manager for the Fisher-Titus/MetroHealth partnership. She also serves on our emergency department staff and as a nurse educator for Fisher-Titus. She also leads the Stop the Bleed program for Fisher-Titus. For more information about Stop the Bleed, visit www.bleedingcontrol.org or call 419-668-8101 ext. 6968.