Know how to stop the bleed

Brittany Bankhead, MD

If you’ve ever spent an evening at a concert, taken a quick trip to the mall, gone out for a nice sunset drive or spent a day at work, you would be among a group of people who woke up one morning to do the same, normal routine, but instead they ended the day with a life-threatening bleeding situation that happens right in front of them.

When a traumatic event occurs, bystanders often are the first to step up as they wait for emergency medical services (EMS). According to the National Trauma Institute, excessive bleeding is responsible for nearly 35% of pre-hospital deaths and 40% of deaths during the first 24 hours of a traumatic event.

As a trauma surgeon, I see this life-threatening bleeding happen every day. And while your local trauma center has the equipment and equipment necessary to best control this bleeding, there is one thing that we cannot control – time. The ability of a bystander like yourself, to know what to do in the event of a bleeding emergency can give EMS enough time to arrive and bring the patient to us.

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