EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – “Stop the Bleed” is a “a national awareness campaign and call-to-action,” according to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
Bystanders are the first on the scene– before first responders are contacted and are en route to someone in need of medical treatment. This is why “Stop the Bleed” and its supporters believe this program is important to the well-being of the community, schools and everyday individuals.
“I can save their life once they get to the hospital, but I need a live patient to get here,” says Dr. Stephen Flaherty, M.D., Trauma Director at Del Sol Medical Center.
Texas school districts, like the Socorro Independent School District (SISD) in El Paso, are quickly jumping on board with the initiative due to HB 469.
While House Bill 469 became “effective immediately” in mid-Jun., Sept. marks the beginning of bleed control kits appearing in schools statewide. By law, schools must have the kits placed on campus by Jan. 1, 2020.
SISD police officers, nurses and assistant principals have been trained to utilize the “Stop the Bleed” kits, thus far. There are plans to begin training students in the near future using “Community Emergency Response team” curriculum.
“The way most of our students have grown up and what they’ve seen the news nowadays, and the different tragedies… for example in El Paso, its very important for them to have that training,” says Ismael Castro, SISD Emergency Management Coordinator.
Trainees will learn how to effectively compress a wound and use a tourniquet. “Stop the Bleed” training focuses on the most common impact wounds that may be a result of an unexpected event such as a mass shooting, stabbing or deep cut.
The response from school officials have been positive, expressing that “Stop the Bleed’s” tools and techniques could be a matter of life and death.
“If someone could use a tourniquet to stop somebody’s bleeding, I mean that in itself saves one life. One life at a time or as many you can save,” says Bob Amador, SISD Assistant Nurse Manager.
Dr. Flaherty led trauma at Del Sol Medical Center the day of the El Paso mass shooting near Cielo Vista. He expresses that there is a need to educate the community on this growing issue, especially one that hits home.
“If you’re aware of what to do and the equipment that you need… and you can look and see visible signs of that… I think that will send a message to people about what we’re trying to do for them and how safe they are in our community,” says Dr. Flaherty.