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June 8, 2018

Hortonville School District First in Area to Champion Stop The Bleed

“The fate of the wounded lies in the hands of the ones who apply the first dressing” was a famous quote of Dr. Nicholas Senn, the founder of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.

ThedaCare Trains to Control Bleeding when First on the Scene

“The fate of the wounded lies in the hands of the ones who apply the first dressing” was a famous quote of Dr. Nicholas Senn, the founder of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. It was true in 1897 when Dr. Senn said it, and it’s still true today. ThedaCare leaders believe so strongly in the premise that they offer free training in northeast and central Wisconsin to “Stop the Bleed.” Hortonville School District has emerged as a champion for the training.

Whitney McMullin, RN, BSN and school nurse for the Hortonville School District, knows how critical it is to control the bleed. As an intensive care unit nurse for ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah, she sees how important first responders are to the outcome of cases involving bleeding.

“We have all seen the rash of mass casualty events in the past few years, and as tragic as each one is, they are just part of the necessity to learn more about how to stop the bleed,” said McMullin. “Every day emergency response teams are called to address car, boating and construction accidents. Even some slip and fall accidents can turn deadly if there is an arterial bleed. In most cases, someone else is on the scene before emergency responders. In the case of severe bleeding, every second counts. If other people in the community have the training to apply a tourniquet, lives will be saved.”

McMullin was the first school nurse to sign up for the Stop the Bleed training for the Hortonville School District. “We are requiring all administrators and medical emergency responders in our district to participate in the training this August,” said McMullin. “It’s also open to others in the school who want to participate. ThedaCare is making this program available to us at no charge and it only takes about an hour.”

Tabitha Uitenbroek is the trauma program manager for the Levell II Verified Trauma Center for ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah and is point-person for the Stop the Bleed training initiative. The nationwide curriculum was launched in October 2015 by the White House and was intended to cultivate grassroots efforts to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. ThedaCare kicked off the local training earlier this year.

“No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene,” said Uitenbroek. “A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within minutes, so it’s important to quickly stop the blood loss. Those nearest to someone with life threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care. It is important to offer this training to people in our community at no cost to them and we are thrilled the Hortonville School District has taken it seriously. ThedaCare is constantly looking for ways to strengthen our communities and this program does just that.”

She said that the program addresses two basic questions:

1)    Is this a life-threatening bleed?

2)    If yes, what steps should be taken?

Uitenbroek said the program is available for everyone age 12 and up. “We can come to your community and train a group or you can sign up for the free bleeding control classes at,” she continued. “It all comes down to a simple question: Do you and your loved ones have the necessary training to Stop the Bleed? If not, email or sign up for a bleeding control class online at today.”

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a nonprofit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, and stroke, orthopedic and cardiac programs, as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.