When a gunman shot into a crowd of people in Las Vegas this week, bystanders quickly became first responders. Time was critical, and getting people to medical help was challenging. Complete strangers jumped into action to aid the injured. Loved ones stayed with the wounded, waiting for help to arrive. Others carried victims to ambulances. If faced with the same circumstances, would you be ready.
The people at that country music festival may have wondered in those terrifying moments, how do you stop the bleeding? How do I treat this wound? Can I save a life? These are the skills trauma surgeons at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center are teaching people in a free, "Stop the Bleed" training course.
Dr. Eileen Bulger, Chief of Trauma at Harborview says a person who is bleeding can die from blood loss in less than five minutes. She says learning how to stop that bleed is just as important as knowing CPR. Dr. Bulger says when people lose a lot of blood, they go into shock. The blood pressure drops and people don't get enough blood to the brain.
Dr. Bulger says a tourniquet that's not tight enough can actually make the bleeding worse. In the "Stop the Bleed" training they show people how to apply a tourniquet and how to pack a wound.
Here's an excerpt from the "Stop the Bleed" training website.