UNMC Classes Teach People to ‘Stop the Bleed’

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November 8th, 2019

In the past year, 1,207 people have died as the result of mass shootings. It is estimated that approximately 43,000 people die every year as a result of vehicular accidents. How many of those deaths could be prevented if people knew proper first aid? That’s the question Ann Boley and the Trauma program with the University of Nebraska Medical Center are looking to answer by offering “Stop the Bleed” classes to the public.

“The Stop the Bleed Program started back in 2012 after the Sandy Hook shooting,” Boley said. “What they found after the shooting was that a lot of those kiddos could have survived if the people inside the school were able to stop the bleed.”

After the classes began in 2012, the campaign began to spread across the nation. Training sessions last about one hour and consist of 30 to 45 minutes of lecture and presentation, followed by hands on training where participants use mannequins to practice applying pressure, packing wounds and using tourniquets. Instructors also ask participants how they could use their resources in a true emergency situation.

“A lot of the times we’ll ask participants in the class, ‘What do you have on you currently that you could use as a tourniquet?’ And they come up with some really good ideas,” Boley said. “The company at Bungee was like, ‘We’ll use our bungee straps,’ or a lot of students will say their lanyards because they have to have lanyards with their IDs on them. People come up with some really, really good ideas.”

UNMC is currently teaming up with community blood banks to offer free monthly training sessions to the public. In order to keep the student to instructor ratio small, these classes are tailored to accommodate 10 to 12 people. Therefore, Boley said, the easiest way to attend a training session is to schedule one through UNMC.

Community members are encouraged to contact Boley to schedule a training session with their businesses, schools or other groups, because while the campaign was started as a response to a mass shooting, Boley said that the skills taught in the class can be used in everyday situations as well.

This class is truly for the community,” Boley said. “You do not have to be a healthcare professional at all. We tell different stories in the class about car accidents and patients that we’ve seen and it gives me goosebumps, because it’s not the EMS people that save these lives, it’s the layperson. It’s amazing.

There was a motorcyclist in Lincoln that was driving down the street and laid his bike down. A bystander came and put a belt on him. Lincoln Fire had really good response times, but if that bystander would have not put a tourniquet on, he would have died on the scene.”

To schedule a training session, contact Ann Boley at aboley@nebraskamed.com or 402-763-3704.

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