At the age of 12, I earned my first CPR certification. My mom encouraged me to become a certified lifeguard three years later. Both training programs increased my confidence, providing me with the necessary skills and knowledge to help someone if he or she needed it. I think of Stop the Bleed, a national campaign to address uncontrolled bleeding, in the same way. Uncontrolled bleeding – from a car crash, an injury from using a piece of equipment, a mass casualty situation or a fall – is the most common cause of preventable trauma death in the United States.
The sight of blood can be overwhelming for many and being near someone suffering a traumatic injury can be additionally daunting. Stop the Bleed training, however, provides vital information, the necessary skills, and reassurance that can calm your own fears and allow you to help another person in need. During Stop the Bleed training, attendees learn how to use a tourniquet stop bleeding in a person’s arms or legs until emergency responders arrive. If people lose too much blood, they go into shock, which can lead to death.
We at the Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah are grateful we can provide Stop the Bleed training. Our entire team of 35 instructors recognizes the reality that anyone in this community could be the first responder in any given situation. Often, the first responder to bleeding emergencies is a bystander or family member – not a trained emergency medical responder. That is why we launched a local Stop the Bleed campaign in January to train as many people as possible.
As National Stop the Bleed Day approaches on March 31, I want to share the successes we have had since January:
- Trained 35 instructors from ThedaCare, Gold Cross Ambulance and Oshkosh Fire Department
- Trained 58 people at two community-based classes
- Provided instructor training to seven Menasha Public Health Department staff members
- Completed a course with 17 individuals from the Well Armed Women Group at Fireline Shooting Range in Appleton
- Participated in the education of 22 of Sen. Ron Johnson’s staff, in collaboration with instructors from Froedtert and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
In addition, we have classes coming up with 40 clinicians from ThedaCare At Work, 90 nursing students and faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and 60 employees and medical/security team volunteers from Appleton Alliance Church.
Just as my experiences with CPR and lifeguard certification provided me with the knowledge, skills and confidence to intervene when the situation presented itself, people attending the Stop the Bleed sessions walk away feeling they can help in traumatic bleeding situations. Maybe you think this class isn’t for you? Talk to someone who has taken the course, visit www.bleedingcontrol.org to learn more about the background and national support for this course. We continue to spread the word about the class since our goal is to train as many people as possible. Please contact email@example.com if interested in setting up or attending a class to learn how you can help someone – maybe even a loved one – in what truly is a life-or-death moment.
Tabitha Uitenbroek, MSN, RN, is the trauma program manager at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah.