The American Society of Safety Professionals South Plains chapter met for their monthly meeting. They support occupational safety and health professionals in their efforts to prevent workplace injuries, illness, and fatalities. On August 20, 2019 hosted special guest Melissa Kemp, DHSc, PA-C, focused on the Stop-the-Bleed program that is meant to help during a bleeding emergency. While it was a brief overview, the information was invaluable.
The Stop-the-Bleed program is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action by the American College of Surgeons. It’s intended to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before help arrives. It was developed to create a protocol to decrease the mortality rate of intentional mass casualty events or active shooter events. The idea is to train bystanders in techniques to control bleeding in emergency situations. The training course is 90 minutes and includes a formal presentation and a hands-on practice of direct pressure application, wound packing, and use of a tourniquet.
Dr. Kemp discussed how Stop-the-Bleed helps save a life by taking simple actions immediately after the trauma and following the ABCs: Alert, Bleeding, Compression. When it is safe to do so, alert 911. If you’re not safe, then you can’t help, so make sure the scene is secure. Then identify the bleed on the victim. Is it life-threatening? Is there pooling, bleeding through, or limb deformities? Remove any bulky clothing that may absorb the blood, and in case the victim is bleeding from areas that could be hidden. Add compression to the wound. There are three areas of the body and how to apply compression: limbs, junctional, and body. A tourniquet can be applied to the limbs 2-3 inches above the wound and not on the joint. It should only be taken off by a medical professional. In the junctional areas (neck, torso, groin, armpit), pack the wound with clean gauze and apply pressure. Don’t apply too much pressure that you can’t tell that the bleeding has stopped. Part of the program is to train bystanders, who are first on the scene, to stop the bleeding and aid victims with life threatening injuries until medical professionals can arrive. For more information, you can visit https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed.
The ASSP South Plains Chapter also discussed their fundraiser that they will be posting on their website and their efforts to help the community of Lubbock. The South Plains Chapter meets every third Tuesday of the month. For more information, visit https://southplains.assp.org/.