Royal Oak Beaumont to offer free ‘Stop the Bleed’ classes

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published March 13, 2018

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ROYAL OAK — In response to gun violence in the U.S., the White House rolled out the ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security in 2015.

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, is one of the latest organizations to partner with the national program to offer nonmedical bystanders the opportunity to save lives by learning how to curb active-bleeding scenarios.

The free classes will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. To register, call (800) 633-7377, ext. 2.

Tony Iacco, a hospital trauma surgeon, said the campaign is a grass-roots effort to encourage the public to get the proper training and equipment necessary to stem bleeding before professional help arrives.

“Some patients die before getting help from an emergency professional,” he said. “We know that a person can die from blood loss within five minutes. It may be longer than that, but it’s important to stop the bleeding, and the nearest person is likely to be someone standing by.”

He said the classes typically take 30-45 minutes, and participants learn how to apply pressure to wounds and use tourniquets. The program, he said, was developed in response to firearm-related violence, but the skills can come in handy for any type of trauma victim.

The most common trauma he sees in the emergency room, Iacco said, is blunt force trauma usually from motor vehicle crashes, but also some gunshot and stab wounds, as well as trauma to elderly people who fall at home.

“Our hope is to go out in the community and try to reach as many people as possible to be empowered to help in bleeding emergencies before professional help arrives,” he said. “We think that’s really important.”

Iacco said participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the class, as well as resources in case they wish to purchase their own tourniquets.

“If we can’t seem to take any action against gun violence — it’s hard to prevent — the one thing the public can do is respond to the incidents in terms of stopping bleeding,” he said. “It may save lives.”

He said that autopsies conducted on some of the 20 children who died in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut revealed that their deaths could have been prevented if someone had applied life-saving pressure to their gunshot wounds.

Michelle Schnedler, the hospital’s trauma program manager and a registered nurse, said participants do not need prior medical training to learn the skills the classes offer.

“We’ve had an overwhelming amount of interest (in the program), from community groups to fire departments to even hospital employees,” Schnedler said. “Because of what’s been in the news, it’s spiked lot of people’s interest to take this class.”

Besides the two classes that the hospital will offer March 24, Schnedler said the hospital plans to offer more classes in the future to meet the demand.

The hospital offered five steps to help a victim in a bleeding emergency:

1. Be sure you are not in harm’s way, such as on a highway or in the line of fire.

2. Call 911.

3. Figure out where the blood is coming from. If blood is spurting, pooling or soaking clothing, it could be a life-threatening situation.

4. Grab a shirt, scarf or whatever is handy to cover the wound, or just use your hands if nothing else is available.

5. Press hard on the wound with your hands, or even your knee, until help arrives.

According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma is the No. 1 cause of death for those ages 1 to 46, and more than 180,000 people in the U.S. die every year from traumatic injuries. Bleeding is a leading cause of death from injuries, often in situations where emergency medical care arrives too late to help, according to a hospital press release.

For more information about Stop the Bleed, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed. For a complete listing of local classes, visit www.bleedingcontrol.org.

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, is located at 3601 W. 13 Mile Road, east of Woodward Avenue.

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