Trauma surgeons at Harborview Medical Center taught a "Stop the Bleed" training session Saturday, geared toward bystanders and educators if they are ever involved in a mass casualty incident, like last weekend’s shooting in Las Vegas.
"'The Stop The Bleed' campaign is a nationwide campaign designed to teach bystanders, to teach every citizen the basics of bleeding control," Dr. Eileen Bulger said. "I think that type of training is really critical in our society today."
That's because blood loss is the leading cause of preventable death in mass shooting situations. Bulger says rapid control of bleeding at the scene of an event can be life-saving, especially if bystanders can step in to help before emergency responders arrive.
Bulger, trauma surgeon, taught one of the 2.5-hour sessions.
“How do you find where the bleeding is,” she asked rhetorically. “Well, you have got to look for it, so you’ve got to remove clothing, rip clothing.
“If you are in an unsafe situation where you can’t stay and hold pressure on that person, put the tourniquet on,” she continued.
A tourniquet is a tight strap that, if applied correctly, will stop the blood flow and stop the bleeding.
In addition to increasing education to businesses, schools, and hospitals, Harborview doctors also want to have blood control kits in all public places near AEDs.
Emergency management consultant Krista Salinas said she will take this training to the Sedro-Woolley School District.
“If teachers could learn or staff or students could learn just put pressure to learn how to do tourniquets, then maybe they could save a life,” said Salinas.
Katelyn Miller is a nanny who also wanted to come for some peace of mind.
“It’s always something that’s in the back of our minds, especially recently with what happened,” said Miller, who said she’s felt anxious in recent days.
“Scared to go out sometimes, you know, scared to leave the safety of your home,” she continued. “Doing something, knowing what to do in that situations, being able to help people, I think is really important.
“I feel like doing something like this kind of takes that power back, take that fear, bring it down to where you can do something about it,” she said.
Harborview hosts the Stop The Bleed classes on a monthly basis. They are free and open to the public. To learn more or to sign up for a class, click here.