SPRINGFIELD — Staff from hospitals, universities, and first responders teach people to prevent wound victims from bleeding out quickly.
Several area agencies came together Saturday to educate the public on what is being called “National Stop the Bleed” day.
These professionals taught people how to stop bleeding in situations where lives are on the line.
Keith Schaefer, Mercy’s Trauma Services Director, stresses that there is power in preparation.
“Seconds count in saving a life.” Schaefer says. “This event is to teach people how to save a life by stopping life-threatening bleeding.”
Ideally, this type of training would be as widely-known as CPR.
“You would see a hemorrhage control kit station. Everywhere you are walking around, you can count on 2.3.4 people trained to employ these techniques,” says Schaefer.
Students like Nixa Senior Trey Backes are taking the initiative with the GOCAPS career exploration program. They’ve partnered with Mercy Trauma to prepare teachers in case that day ever comes to their school.
“Due to the recent shootings, we found the need to train high school staff on how to save lives if there is an incident at their school,” Backes says. “We teach the staff how to apply tourniquets, on how to pack wounds, and when the necessary time is to pack a wound. At Ozark High School, we trained about 24 high school staff, and at Willard we trained about 12.”
As someone who makes a living keeping people alive, Springfield’s Fire Chief David Pennington says the use for these techniques apply beyond an active shooter situations.
“You don’t have to have a badge to save a life, you just need the skills,” Pennington says.
He explained that 20% of trauma patients could potentially be saved by people knowing hemorrhaging techniques.
Pennington added that it takes first responders an average of about 5 minutes to get on scene, and depending on the size of a wound, that can be enough time for someone to bleed out.
“It could be something as simple as falling off your ladder and breaking a leg. It could be a hunting accident, or even a motor vehicle crash. People injure themselves cooking in the kitchen,” explains Pennington.
While it can be an advantage knowing how to respond to those types of common scenarios, the nightmarish possibility of a school shooter has a younger demographic taking notice.
“It’s pretty big that we have the kids and youth in the community engaged,” Pennington says.
As for Backes, he adds that prevention is key.
“The only thing worse than a death, is a death that could have been prevented.”
While you may not have a tourniquet handy at all times, you can still use something like a shirt or belt in its place. They aren’t as effective, but the key is knowing how to apply it, and taking action early enough to save a life.