‘Stop the Bleed’ gaining momentum here

July 26, 2018

By Ed Byrne The Brillion News

Severe bleeding can claim victims’ lives quickly

WOODVILLE – Susan Woelfel, a member of the Hilbert-Potter EMS First Responders group and an employee of the ThedaCare Health system, gave her fellow first responders training in a new nationwide effort to reduce the number of people perishing from rapid blood loss.

The initiative is called “Stop the Bleed” (STB) and the training takes an hour. It is offered to people over age 12.

Woelfel gave information on the program to the Brillion and Hilbert school districts, and hopes that they will join the movement.

It involves two things: Purchasing and placing Bleeding Control kits in key locations, and training people how to use them.

The most important tool in the kit is a professional-grade tourniquet.

“I first learned about [Stop the Bleed] about a year ago at a trauma conference,” ThedaCare Trauma Service Manager Tabitha Uitenbroek said.

In the fall of 2017, Uitenbroek met a trauma surgeon who helped to start the STB initiative back in 2012.

“They looked at preventable death trauma as the result of blood loss, and realized there was a need to bridge the gap between the time of injury and when EMS could get to them,” Uitenbroek said.

The mortality from gunshots and stabbings and other major bleed injuries prompted a researcher at John Hopkins Medicine to suggest last fall that victims be taken directly to a hospital emergency room in a private vehicle, rather than waiting for an ambulance.

Uitenbroek said that’s often not enough to save the person, and stopping the bleeding should be the first course of action.

“Better yet, stop that bleeding and let the first responders do triage,” she said. “It doesn’t take too many minutes for you to have too much blood loss that you can’t survive.”

Please see the complete story in the July 26, 2018 edition of The Brillion News. 

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