Why is National STOP THE BLEED® Month Important?
May is National STOP THE BLEED® Month, and May 25th serves as the 6th annual STOP THE BLEED® Day. This nationwide campaign is a coordinated effort to bring bleeding control knowledge to the general public. The goal is to increase awareness and overall readiness to respond to a bleeding emergency to help save lives.
Uncontrolled bleeding is a leading cause of preventable death for people of all ages in the United States and across the world. So, learning bleeding control techniques can benefit you and those around you at home, in the workplace and out in the community.
Severe bleeding emergencies can occur anywhere
Violence continues to plague our society, leaving children and adults to rely on those closest to them to provide lifesaving care immediately after an incident. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, most mass attacks take place in businesses and other public places. This includes places where we eat, shop, work, heal, learn and receive other services.
Recent mass shootings are a tragic and continuous reminder that any of us could find ourselves in a situation where we must react quickly and appropriately until professional help arrives.
In fact, the majority of active shooter incidents end before law enforcement and/or emergency medical services (EMS) can arrive on scene. It’s estimated that around 70% of active shooter events end in five minutes or less, further underlying the importance of being prepared to act as an immediate responder.
Although these incomprehensible events are fresh in our minds, there are many other scenarios where severe external bleeding can happen.
Trauma from work-related injuries, car accidents and natural disasters can cause life-threatening bleeding. For example, impaled objects, machinery accidents, compound fractures, serious falls and explosions can cause traumatic bleeding emergencies.
This means you could be called upon to become an immediate responder at any time.
What to know about life-threatening bleeding
Bleeding isn’t always life-threatening, in which case, basic CPR, AED and First Aid training can be useful. But someone who is severely bleeding can bleed to death in as little as five minutes. Therefore, you need to be prepared to respond quickly.
Life-threatening bleeding can be identified by:
- Bright red blood that’s spurting from a wound.
- Blood that won’t stop coming out of a wound.
- Bleeding in a person who is confused, disoriented or unconscious.
- Blood that’s pooling on the ground or soaking heavy clothing.
- Loss of limb.
A person can still survive after losing 40% of their blood volume. But controlling bleeding in those first minutes is crucial. So, as immediate responders, we can make a difference by acting.
Emergency bleeding control techniques can save a life
When severe bleeding occurs, knowing how to apply emergency bleeding control measures can make a difference in a person’s chance of survival.
Follow these steps to stop the bleed:
- Locate the bleeding. Quickly expose and inspect the wound.
- Apply direct pressure. Using a clean cloth, apply firm and constant pressure directly on the point of bleeding. Use gloved hands if a pad isn’t available.
- Maintain pressure. If blood soaks through the pad, leave it in place. Apply a second pad on top of the first. When bleeding is controlled, maintain continuous steady direct pressure.
For severe injuries, you might need to pack a dressing into the wound to maintain pressure or place a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
Not sure how to pack a wound or place a tourniquet? Bleeding control training can give you the confidence to respond during a life-threatening bleeding emergency.
Bleeding control training with AVERT
When violence or other traumatic events occur, seconds count. If care is delayed, even by a few minutes, uncontrolled bleeding can become life-threatening. Therefore, you don’t always have the option to wait for first responders to arrive.
AVERT training — short for Active Violence Emergency Response Training — combines active shooter and emergency bleeding control training into one comprehensive program. Through hands-on training and practice, you’ll learn how to recognize life-threatening bleeding and the steps needed to act right away using stop the bleed methods.