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‘Stop the Bleed’ bystander-intervention training


If someone was badly injured and bleeding, would you know how to help? Stop the Bleed classes at Harborview Medical Center can teach you. Dr. Eileen Bulger: Improvised tourniquets, the kind you see on TV where they take a belt or a piece of a t-shirt and try to make a tourniquet out of it, it’s very hard to get those tight enough. You need a tourniquet to be tight enough to stop the blood flow into the arm, the arterial flow. If you don’t make it tight enough, it doesn’t stop that flow and it backs up the flow from the veins and actually makes bleeding worse. So what’s in a bleeding control kit for an individual. This is the tourniquet here, this is packing gauze, these are gloves for you to protect your hands and then a marking pen to the write the time on the tourniquet. This is the type of kit we have in the hospital. We have these scattered throughout the hospital, everywhere there’s a disaster bag there’s one of these bags, and in them are similar materials but enough to treat multiple people. These are two types of tourniquets, there are a couple of different types on the market it’s a good chance to get your hands on both types and feel comfortable with them so, whichever kind of kit you pick up, you would know what to do. This one is called a CAT tourniquet it’s a Velcro tourniquet, and basically we teach people how to tighten it down, which is pretty straightforward, get it really snug, and then basically you just twist this until the bleeding stops and it clips into this little locking clip and then you fold this over and write the time down that you put it on so that when they get to the hospital, we know. Instead of Velcro it kind of ratchets down, so it’s loose here and we’ll just ratchet it down. Same kind of thing it twists and then it gets locked into this little triangle here, like that. This is a wound-packing model that we use in the class too, just to get people comfortable with the idea. If you have a really big wound, putting pressure on the top is not good enough, because the bleeding comes from the bottom of the wound. So you have to learn how to feel comfortable stuffing gauze into the wound. So we let people practice that and we talk about that, and sort of the nuances of that. Once you get the gauze in, you want to hold firm pressure with two hands to really get pressure on that bleeding. In a disaster situation when emergency services are overwhelmed and 911 is overwhelmed, your neighbor is who is going to help you. And people want to help. So, just like you go to learn CPR so you can help, you should learn these skills as well and then you’ll be prepared. To register for a class, visit bit.ly/stop-the-bleed UW Medicine

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