Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. It only takes four to seven minutes to bleed to death from a serious injury — a short timeframe that often doesn’t give first responders enough time to get to the scene, much less get the injured person to a hospital.
Q: So what can be done?
A: Teach more people how to stop the bleed.
The Stop the Bleed program wants to ensure that anyone — not just first responders and health care professionals — is equipped with the knowledge and tools to stop a serious bleeding injury.
“Anyone can learn to do this,” said Ronald Robertson, M.D., medical director of trauma and chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Surgery.
At the March 29 UAMS Stop the Bleed Awareness Day event, about 150 attendees were shown how to pack a wound, apply pressure and secure a tourniquet. Information was also available about a two-to-three hour certification course.
“I can’t stress how important this information is,” said Robertson. “Knowing how to perform these skills could save your life or the lives of the people you love.”
The UAMS Stop the Bleed group also presented two awards during the event. The Above and Beyond Award was presented to the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) and Chief Kenyon Buckner “in appreciation for your dedication, commitment and outstanding police performance in the saving of human life.”
All members of the LRPD have tourniquets in their cars and have been trained how to use them, said J.R. Taylor, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Surgery.
Buckner said this training has already saved lives in Little Rock.
“During the Power Lounge shooting July 1, 2017, 25 people were shot,” he said. “All of them survived. Police applied five tourniquets and two chest seals in the field before MEMS was cleared to reach the scene.”
Clayton Goddard, MEMS special operations supervisor, received the Golden Tourniquet Award for “his extraordinary achievement, dedicated service and commitment to The Arkansas Stop the Bleed Initiative.”
Goddard took his military training and applied it to his civilian job, said Robertson. “Before Stop the Bleed became a national endeavor, Clayton was already doing it in Arkansas.”
Thanks to Goddard, Robertson said, more than 5,000 law enforcement officers in Arkansas have been trained in techniques to keep a person from bleeding to death. Goddard also approached the Arkansas Board of Education so he could train school nurses, who could then train teachers, in Stop the Bleed techniques.