Medicine, Military

STOP the bleed!

Edit: National Stop the Bleed Day is this March 31st, 2018. Sign up for a free class at You never know what you may need it! Read more about Stop The Bleed below.

Hello, guys! It is again #FunFactFriday and I thank you all so much for joining me today. This week, I was actually having a really hard time trying to figure out what to talk about – then voila! I totally forgot that I signed up for a training class at my work on Wednesday!

The course is called “STOP THE BLEED: Bleeding Control (B-Con) Basic.”

It was established by the American College of Surgeons back in April 2013, after the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary Mass shooting. The program was made to educate everyone how to potentially save lives (you can visit their website here).

Wait, everyone?

Yes! Everyone! You do not need any medical knowledge to learn how to stop a person from bleeding out! Did you know a lot of deaths are that resulted from life-threatening bleeding are usually preventable? With the correct training, you can save a lot of potential lives.

The real question is why should you learn about this? Well, we all know that there are increases in mass casualty via mass shooting, street violence, or bombing. It is really hard to predict what will happen and what will you do if you ever run into that situation (I hope not). Other than mass casualty, there are many types of serious injuries that may occur – motor vehicle crashes, work-related injuries, home injuries, etc. If we find ourselves in that situation, we can at least do something from the time you dial 9-1-1 to the time when the emergency medical services (EMS) arrive. Did you know it can take as little as 3 minutes for a person to bleed out and die? EMS is not always less than 3 minutes away! If more of the public knows how to properly stop a life-threatening bleed, it will increase the survival rate (means a lot of people will not have to die of preventable deaths).

Now, before you get too excited, you do have to take a course (instructor led, in class) in order for you to do this. The good news is that the courses are free, and they are only 1-2 hours long. You get to learn about different methods on how to stop a bleed. It is really hands-on (good for kinesthetic learners) and useful. I really encourage you guys to take the course. =)

Diving into the materials – I am just going to talk briefly about different areas of bleeding and some tips on how to protect yourself and save people around you. I will save the details for the course that you will be taking!

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, ENSURE YOUR OWN SAFETY FIRST! If you happen to find yourself in a mass casualty event, SEEK SHELTER FIRST. The instructor told us that we do not want dead heroes! It is important to always make sure you are safe first because how can you help if you are not safe?

There are three alphabets for this process: The ABCs of bleeding.

A stands for ALERT 9-1-1) This step is so important. You or someone else need to dial 9-1-1. If you are doing the wound packing/applying pressure, make sure you point at someone and ask that someone to dial 9-1-1.

B stands for BLEED) We will need to locate the any life-threatening bleeding by tearing the clothes open. There are three types of wounds:

  1. Arm/Leg Wounds
  2. Torso Junctional Wounds
  3. Chest/Abdominal Injuries

The first two types of wounds you can stop the bleeding by wound packing (stuffing as much gauze or clean clothes as you can into the would) and applying pressure (use your whole body weight).

Pressure stops bleeding!

Another way is to apply tourniquet (again, pressure stops bleeding)! You will need to use a special type of tourniquet (Combat Application Tourniquet) to stop the bleed by yanking that thing as hard as you can. You can do it on yourself or someone else. If it is not painful, you are not doing it right. Always tighten it, never loosen it. You can purchase the Combat Application Tourniquet from the official website (link above). Unfortunately, the third type is hard to treat by non-medical professionals, and you will definitely need to notify the EMS when they arrive to take those patients to the hospital first.

C stands for COMPRESS) Compress, compress, compress! If you packed a wound, you will need to apply constant pressure until the EMS arrives. Again, pressure stops bleeding! If your arms are getting tired, use your knee. You can even sit on the wound. Remember, constant pressure (mean do NOT remove ANY pressure) until the EMS arrives.

I hope you become more intereseted in learning more about the STOP the BLEED program. Again, I really encourage you to go take this course (plus you get a certificate at the end). It does not take long, and it will help you stay calm and save a lot of potential lives.

Let us go from a bystander to an immediate responder

Thank you for reading this lengthy post and I truly appreciate your precious time! We will see you again next Friday.

Like what you learned? Spread the knowledge!

About Holy

Hello, my name is Holy. I like to write about current issues and am still working on my skills. I hope you will find my writings thought-provoking and meaningful.
View all posts by Holy →