In today’s society, unfortunately, disastrous events occur all around us whether in schools, concerts, workplaces, and other public places. Although we are not able to prevent all tragedies, there is a way to help in such situations and potentially lessen the lives lost.
By minimizing massive hemorrhage after an injury, anyone can be capable of saving a life. According to the American College of Surgeons, The Committee on Trauma and the Hartford Consensus, “Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma.” Because of this, they have formed an initiative involving courses called “Stop the Bleed.” During these classes, medical professionals, and subsequently those they teach, can volunteer their time to teach others necessary steps to control excessive bleeding. More than 133,000 people have been trained worldwide, and are now certified to teach others.
At Lurie Children’s, Dr. Rashmi Kabre, Trauma Director, is working closely with Corinne Sadecki-Lund, APRN Trauma Coordinator, and Mary Otting, Emergency Medical Services Coordinator, to provide “Stop the Bleed” classes to the public, as well as fellow employees at the hospital. “As a medical professional, it is important to me that teachers, students, and hospital staff become educated on how to help control massive hemorrhage. The same care and expertise I would want for my own child is what I want for all children,” said Dr. Kabre.
“Our goal is to get as many of our staff members trained as possible and also to go out into the community to empower teachers, students and others on how to control life-threatening bleeding. School shootings have been one of the most catastrophic events that have unfortunately become more common in recent years, but any situation where someone is severely injured could be life-threatening. This course can help save lives in a situation like that,” said Corinne.
Recently, Dr. Kabre, Corinne, and Mary taught the course at British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park. During these classes, the 90 teachers and staff who participated learned techniques to minimize blood loss in emergent situations.
“These techniques give the victims a fighting chance to survive longer at the scene,” said Dr. Kabre, “so they can ultimately get the medical help they need.”
During an emergency, safety is key for the person who is not injured and helping, too. “If you’re in danger, don’t put yourself at further risk of getting hurt,” said Corinne. “Know when to step in or step away.”
When faced with a bleeding crisis, there are three tips to remember – the “ABC’s of Bleeding”:
A stands for alert, meaning call 911. “We place big emphasis on this step when teaching the program,” said Corinne.
B stands for bleeding. “Always look for life-threatening bleeding. Take care of the people who look the worst first,” said Corinne.
C stands for compression. “Direct pressure and proper packing of the wound can help stop massive hemorrhage. Don’t worry about infection and use whatever you have available. Some people would never think to use their socks, sweaters, belts or clothes off their own back, but it could potentially save a life,” said Dr. Kabre.
The staff at British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park learned how to pack wounds and properly use a tourniquet, which is a device that cuts off circulation allowing the blood flow to come to a halt. “Tourniquets can be painful when applied correctly. It might be hurting them at the moment, but keep in mind you are also potentially saving their lives,” said Corinne.
“We want to make a difference,” said Dr. Kabre. ‘Stop the Bleed’ allows us to prepare people for the unexpected.”
For more information on how to get involved with “Stop the Bleed”, please contact Dr. Rashmi Kabre at RKabre@luriechildrens.org, Corinne Sadecki-Lund at CSadeckiLund@luriechildrens.org, or Mary Otting at MOtting@luriechildrens.org or visit www.bleedingcontrol.org.