WASHINGTON: Nearly 40 members of Congress received training today from surgeon members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in how to stop potentially life-threatening bleeding.
Each year, more than 180,000 people die from traumatic injuries sustained as a result of events including motor vehicle crashes, falls, industrial and farm accidents, natural disasters, and tragic mass casualty events like last week's Las Vegas shooting. The most common preventable cause of death in these situations is the loss of too much blood in the minutes before trained immediate responders arrive.

Just like CPR training, a person familiar with basic bleeding control techniques is better equipped to save a life. The effort to make this training available to the public is driven by the goal to reduce or eliminate preventable death from bleeding and is a priority for the ACS.

Today's class, like others offered by the ACS, was designed to teach individuals with no prior medical knowledge how to control rapid bleeding. It can be adapted to meet the needs of groups such as a Scout troop, local PTA, or high school faculty. A Stop the Bleed class teaches participants how to use tools and techniques that were born on the battlefields of Vietnam and further reinforced during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program was developed by the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events, with strong support from the Hartford Consensus and oversight from the ACS Committee on Trauma.

"Other than calling 911, bystanders usually think that there's little they can do to assist with severe bleeding injuries," said trauma surgeon Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, MPH, FACS, an ACS Board member from Hartford, CT, who has played a leadership role in the rollout of Stop the Bleed program since the Sandy Hook tragedy. "It is vital for legislators to understand how important bleeding control training is and support its expansion nationwide."

The ACS is a long-standing champion for programs that improve the quality of health care, including Stop the Bleed. In addition to promoting Stop the Bleed training, the College is also advocating for widespread access to bleeding control education before federal and state lawmakers.

(Posted on 20 October 2017, 1695755729 3O239O59O31)