After Fashion Place Mall shooting, IMC asks us to Stop the Bleed
Feb 05, 2019 03:23PM
● By Shaun Delliskave
Dr. Mark Stevens demonstrates the correct way of placing a tourniquet. (Photo courtesy IHC)
By Shaun Delliskave|[email protected]
Do you know what to do when you come across someone who is bleeding, perhaps wounded in a car crash or shooting incident? Severe bleeding can cause shock or death within five to 10 minutes, before medical help arrives. Knowing how to stop the bleeding can mean survival for those involved.
After the Jan. 13 gang-related shooting at Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Intermountain Healthcare issued the following statement: “…(the) shooting at Fashion Place Mall is a valuable reminder that everyone should know how to Stop the Bleed.” Intermountain Medical Center is offering just this kind of training to the public in a program developed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop the Bleeding Coalition.
“The Stop the Bleeding Coalition is focused on raising awareness of how, with the proper training and materials, death from bleeding can be prevented. Simple measures can save many lives,” according to IHC’s press release. “Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of death after a mass shooting and similar mass casualty events.”
Stop the Bleed training materials state, “No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the blood loss. Those nearest to someone with a life-threatening injury are best positioned to provide first care.”
In emergency situations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency advises that you first call 9-1-1, then protect the injured from harm. Stop the bleeding, then position the injured so they can breathe. Stay close to provide them with comfort.
“Approximately 40 percent of trauma-related deaths worldwide are due to bleeding or its consequences, establishing hemorrhage as the most common cause of preventable death in trauma,” according to IHC.
That’s why trauma experts from the Intermountain Medical Center Trauma Program in Murray say Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action. Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.
Bystanders at Fashion Place Mall were able to apply dressings and tourniquets to the wounded before paramedics arrived. The quick thinking of these responders was hailed as critical in helping the wounded survive.
Dr. Mark Stevens, a Level 1 trauma surgeon at Intermountain Medical Center, said, "We recommend placement of tourniquets only when there's life-threatening bleeding that can't be stopped by direct pressure. I don't think either of the injured was hurt by placing the tourniquets, but they probably weren't necessary in this situation."
Stop the Bleed courses, such as the one that IMC offers, recommend that you first find the source of bleeding. If you have something to put in between the blood and your hands, like gloves, a cloth, or a plastic bag, use it. Apply firm, steady pressure directly on the source of the bleeding. Push hard to stop or slow bleeding, even if it is painful to the injured. Keep applying pressure until emergency medical services arrive. A tourniquet should be used when the injury is to an arm or leg and/or the bleeding is so severe it cannot be controlled otherwise.
Those interested in getting trained can attend a free hour-long Stop the Bleed course offered by IMC. The Draper Fire Department also offers a Stop the Bleed course. Check with your local fire department to see if a similar course is available. For more information, go to https://stopthebleed.usuhs.edu/, and IMC course information can be found at intermountainhealthcare.org/calendar/central/imed/stop-the-bleed.