With the continuing violence in our nation’s schools, churches, and other places where people should feel safe, the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Stop the Bleed® program continues to empower the general public to make a difference in a life-threatening emergency. It is imperative that College members work to promote this program in their institutions and communities.
Training at Clinical Congress
The ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) introduced the Stop the Bleed program to members at Clinical Congress 2016, thus beginning the international campaign to teach the public what to do in a bleeding emergency. At Clinical Congress 2017, in San Diego, CA, Fellows of the College took advantage of numerous opportunities to hear about Stop the Bleed during Panel Sessions and business meetings, as well as by speaking with Trauma Programs staff in ACS Central.
The ACS COT’s Bleeding Control Basic course also was offered during Clinical Congress 2017, with more than 200 attendees receiving classroom training, hands-on demonstrations, and instructor training. These attendees were able to take the message of bleeding control home and begin teaching it to their colleagues and members of their community immediately. Medical students received Bleeding Control Basics training, along with real-time simulated skills sessions as part of a training class sponsored by the COT, the Young Fellows Association, Operation Giving Back, and the Strategic Operations Center, and a select group of San Diego area high school students learned the basics of bleeding control from COT instructors as part of the “Day at the College” program. Even members of the San Diego Convention Center staff received Bleeding Control Basics training as part of the College’s commitment to inform, educate, and empower the public. In total, more than 500 individuals were trained at Clinical Congress 2017 in how to respond to a bleeding emergency.
The Bleeding Control Basics course takes participants through a 60-minute training session that describes the three ways to control bleeding in an emergency. Participants learn how to identify different types of bleeding, wound-packing, and compression hands-on skills training, as well as proper placement and use of a combat application tourniquet. Because most Americans do not have tourniquets available for use, the wound-packing and compression techniques will prove valuable in most bleeding emergencies. The Bleeding Control Kits, including wall-mounted units, are available for purchase at BleedingControl.org.
The website, BleedingControl.org, serves as the information portal for the Stop the Bleed program and highlights international efforts in bleeding control. The website also serves as the home of the Bleeding Control Basics course, which provides registered instructors with free instructional platforms that feature enhanced, user-friendly tools for both instructors and the public alike. New content also has been added to the instructor portal, including the following: instructional guides for creating training materials, a best-practices guide to Bleeding Control Basic training, and a “frequently asked questions” section addressing key topics for Stop the Bleed.
Beginning November 2017, instructors no longer were required to submit class rosters. Instead, instructors are requested to submit class statistics and demographic information online. These data are key in measuring the reach and success of the Stop the Bleed program.
The PowerPoint presentation is now available for download in Spanish and will be offered in several other languages in the near future.
We encourage all members of the College to participate in this program, bringing these lifesaving techniques to their communities. If you are already a registered instructor, we encourage you to teach public classes. These classes are offered to the public and can be hosted inside hospitals, local libraries, community organizations, and public buildings. Public class listings are featured on the website, allowing visitors to search for classes in their area. Teaching public classes provides training to the very individuals most likely to become first responders at the scene of a bleeding emergency.
In the wake of several recent events, the need for the public to be informed and educated in how to Stop the Bleed is critical. Providing this lifesaving instruction to your patients, community, and family is a rewarding experience. If you have yet to register to become a bleeding control instructor, do so today. Register as an instructor at BleedingControl.org to Stop the Bleed, and help others learn how to save a life.