National Stop The Bleed Day

I want to share a lifesaving opportunity with you. Saturday, March 31, 2018, is National Stop the Bleed Day.

According to the Stop The Bleed web page, the top cause of preventable death in trauma is bleeding. About 20% of people who have died from traumatic injuries could have survived with quick bleeding control. Stop The Bleed is a national campaign started by the White House, in collaboration with national stakeholders from the American College of Surgeons and other groups, to address the most common cause of preventable trauma death in the United States: uncontrolled bleeding.

Launched in October 2015 by the White House, Stop The Bleed is a national awareness campaign and a 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. Their mission: Make a Difference. Train. Be Trained.

According to Terri Elsbernd, R.N., Pediatric Trauma Coordinator with Mayo Clinic Trauma Centers in Rochester, Minnesota, and Stop The Bleed Instructor, “The idea of bystander involvement is not a new concept as this has been encouraged with CPR training for the general public for quite some time. With bleeding control (B-CON), we encourage the action of 'immediate responders' knowing that the people nearest the victim at the time of an injury have the best opportunity to help save the life by controlling bleeding. The skills are easy, and anyone can be taught how to use them.”

National Stop The Bleed Day will bring B-CON instructors and students together for a day of training—free of charge. Check the website for class locations and schedules in your area.

During one of our recent Laboratory Safety Committee meetings, we had the opportunity provide Stop The Bleed training for our committee members. The training was provided by two Mayo Clinic trauma nurses who were trained in the Stop The Bleed process. We learned about the importance of managing bleeding, and then we had the opportunity to practice the use of a tourniquet on each other and also tried out packing a wound (using a foam pool noodle to simulate a bleeding body part!).

If you want to see how to apply a tourniquet, check out this short YouTube video of Donald Jenkins, M.D., the former director of the Level 1 Trauma Center at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, demonstrating the easy use of a tourniquet.

What can you do?

  • Learn to Stop The Bleed: It’s as easy as ABC.
  • Promote awareness: Talk about this with your work colleagues and family.
  • Print the Stop The Bleed poster and post it in your work area and at home.

I have purchased three tourniquets for my family so that we have one in each vehicle (right next to the fire extinguisher), and we reviewed the how-to's because you just never know when you might need one. And, I laminated the Stop The Bleed poster and hung it in our garage.

Resources and additional information:

Pat Hlavka

Pat Hlavka is a Safety Coordinator in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. She received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an M.S. degree in Safety from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. Pat worked as a safety professional in the industrial setting (IBM and Benchmark Electronics) for over 15 years. Since joining the Mayo Clinic in 2008, her responsibilities have focused on laboratory safety including the safety audit program, developing and maintaining documentation, training, communications, awareness, incident investigation, laboratory safety committees, and emergency management.