UNHS EMS now teaching Stop the Bleed courses in San Juan County
If someone asked you to name the #1 preventable death after injury would you know?
If you said no, you wouldn’t be alone, according to UNHS EMS Paramedic/Training Officer, Otis Oldman. The answer is bleeding. Oldman has been delivering this message to UNHS staff from Navajo Mountain to Blanding and to other organizations in an effort to promote a nationwide program called Stop the Bleed.
“Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action,” according to the Department of Homeland Security. “No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the blood loss. Those nearest to someone with life threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care.”
The Stop the Bleed Coalition explains, “Stop the Bleed is a national campaign to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Uncontrolled bleeding is a major cause of preventable deaths. Approximately 40% of trauma-related deaths worldwide are due to bleeding or its consequences, establishing hemorrhage as the most common cause of preventable death in trauma. The Stop the Bleed Coalition is focused on raising awareness of how, with the proper training and materials, death from bleeding can be prevented. Simple measures can save many lives.”
Oldman said those he’s discussed the Stop the Bleed training with, beforehand, always insist they have received First Aid training, or some other type of remedial medical training, and they don’t need any more instruction. However, those who take the Stop the Bleed course, even those who said they didn’t need it, are amazed at what they don’t know.
Stop the Bleed was initiated by the Department of Defense in the wake of the many natural disasters, mass shootings and other emergency situations that have arisen across the nation in the past several years. According to Oldman, many of the deaths that occurred because of these incidents could have been avoided had bystanders been trained in the proper way to stop victims from bleeding to death.
However, those involved in everyday activities can also suffer injuries and cuts that can be life threatening, unless their bleeding is stopped. Oldman said his goal is to put a ‘Bleeding Control Kit’ in the hands of everyone he can reach and give them the training needed to help someone in danger of bleeding to death. These ‘Bleeding Control Kits’ were purchased by the UNHS Healthy Transitions Iina Bihoo’aah Program. This program will also team up with the Stop the Bleed Instructors to host a class. The kits contain all the necessary tools to help someone who is bleeding after being injured. They include an easy to use tourniquet, rubber gloves, enough 4×4 gauze to help stop bleeding by packing a wound if necessary, a roll of coban bandage and a permanent marker.
“We are also putting Bleeding Control Kits at every UNHS clinic site inside of the AED Cabinets,” Oldman explained. “We have taught Stop the Bleed to local community members, local companies, high school students and teachers. We have taught about 70 in the Montezuma Creek area, 20 or more in the Monument Valley area and about 10 in the Navajo Mountain area. A majority of those participates have received Bleeding Control Kits courtesy of the Iina Bihoo’aah program.”
The other UNHS Stop the Bleed instructors are; Keldon Brown, Heather Jemmott, Heather Brown, Calandra Hollie, Bernadine Greyeyes and Amber King. Stop the Bleed is Free training available to individuals 16-years of age on up.
During the one-hour Stop the Bleed training sessions, students receive hands-on instruction in how to use the tourniquet and other items in the Stop Bleed Kits, learn the do’s and do not’s of helping a victim who is bleeding, and some of the myths about what should and shouldn’t be done to stop bleeding in an emergency situation. UNHS Emergency Manager Keldon Brown has put together some very handy training devices that help demonstrate the proper techniques used with the Bleeding Control Kits.
“We are hoping to reach more of the younger generation and introduce them to the medical field in some way. I think we can make a real difference with these courses and giving Bleeding Control Kits to as many people as we can,” Oldman stressed.