Stop Bleeding: A Program That Teaches How to Save Lives

Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
January 5, 2022

The Stony Brook Student Nurses' Association (SNSNA) held “STOP THE BLEED®” on Nov. 15, a program that teaches nursing students how to recognize and treat life-threatening bleeding.

The Stop the Bleed course teaches both nursing students, and people of all walks of life how to use commercial tourniquets and everyday objects such as neckties, rulers, and pens (makeshifts) to pack wounds and stop bleeding. Additionally, the program intends to teach individuals how to gain the ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding, act quickly, and intervene effectively. 

Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign launched by the White House in 2015 with the following objectives: 

  • Inform and empower the general public to become trained on basic trauma care in order to stop or slow bleeding during emergencies.
  • Increase bystander access to bleeding control kits.

Essentially, a STOP THE BLEED® course is for both medical professionals and the public who are interested in learning life-saving skills. In addition, Stop The Bleed preparation courses are a movement to improve public awareness and teach bystanders how to respond with three quick actions to control serious bleeding.

How to Stop Bleeding During Emergencies 

Treating external and internal bleeding can be one of the most challenging aspects of trauma care for medical professionals. It requires a high level of knowledge, skill, and confidence. In fact, massive hemorrhage remains a major cause of potentially preventable deaths all over the world.

Unfortunately, many in the medical field are not adequately trained in this area. Research shows that if massive bleeding is not controlled within 30 minutes, there is a 90 percent fatality rate. As a result, hemorrhage shock due to traumatic injuries is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It is therefore detrimental for programs such as the Stop The Bleed to exist and to be readily accessible to the general public. 

What Does the Stop the Bleed Program Entail?

A bleeding wound is something most people are familiar with — cuts, scrapes, paper cuts, and more. However, when a person is bleeding to death from a gunshot or stab wound, it's considered a medical emergency. 

According to their website, The Stop The Bleed Program is, “a campaign to build national resilience by better preparing the public to save lives by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life-threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies”. The courses are administered by the ACS Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) to improve the care of injured patients, as well as to teach both medical professionals and the general public how to recognize life-threatening wounds. Additionally, the Stop The Bleed campaign empowers bystanders to become immediate responders and understand how to effectively apply pressure to major wounds, and how to handle potentially deadly situations, including mass casualty events. The Stop The Bleed Program also teaches students about warning signs for blood loss, as well as causes for excessive bleeding. 

Who is Eligible to Take The Stop The Bleed Program?

Stop The Bleed courses are available for anyone who wishes to learn how to stop life-threatening bleeding in an emergency. Similarly, the campaign is for any individual who wants to be prepared to save the life of a family member, a friend, a colleague, or a perfect stranger. 

Fundamentally, Stop The Bleed courses are designed to teach basic life support. Furthermore, Stop The Bleed teaches students how to control severe bleeding using a tourniquet and pressure bandages, as well as offering a CPR certification among completion of the course. 

What Are Basic Life Support Classes?

Basic life support (BLS) are introductory classes that teach students how to respond to emergencies. Students learn basic assessments and the most effective methods of providing care in emergencies. In addition, BLS classes teach students how to use the appropriate equipment and provide assistance during a medical emergency. Anybody can take a basic life support class. Still, the classes may be more beneficial for medical professionals or those who volunteer in any medical-related capacity.

BLS classes may also be available through community organizations or other community service groups. In some cases, the cost of taking a basic life support class may be covered by an employer. 

A basic life support class can be a valuable asset for any nursing student. It teaches one how to recognize the warning signs of a medical emergency and how to administer life-saving treatment to that patient. The class covers all aspects of first aid, including CPR and how to deal with patients suffering from shock, bleeding, respiratory problems, and seizures.

BLS classes are open to anyone who wants to learn more about first aid and how to take care of themselves or others who may need it in an emergency situation. There are also non-nursing-related courses available that teach individuals how to prevent medical emergencies from occurring. 

Basic Life Support is only the first step in offering emergency care. Stop The Bleed courses are therefore a crucial complementary course for anyone interested in pursuing a career that involves helping others in emergencies.

STOP THE BLEED® is Saving Lives 

The Stop the Bleed campaign has grown into a national call to action that is transforming our nation's ability to save lives from bleeding. But there is still more work to do. That's why the National Stop the Bleed Foundation and its partners have launched STOP THE BLEED® as a movement.

The STOP THE BLEED® movement is not just about bleeding control kits; it's about creating a culture where the public is trained and ready to act when someone nearby is severely bleeding. Moreover, the course is a vital tool for helping bystanders become first responders during a mass-casualty incident, such as a terrorist attack or a mass shooting.

Through public service announcements, social media posts, in-person events, and more, the STOP THE BLEED® movement will continue to build awareness and empower Americans to save lives.

Blog published on:
January 5, 2022

Miranda is a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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