BOE looks at Stop the Bleed

The Inter-Mountain photo by Amanda Hayes Linda Smith, R.N. at St. Joseph’s Hospital, discusses the Stop the Bleed Campaign at Tuesday’s Upshur County Board of Education meeting.

BUCKHANNON — A person can die from hemorrhaging in just eight to 10 minutes which is why a national campaign called Stop the Bleed was created to train citizens in how to help in an emergency.

On Tuesday, Linda Smith, R.N. and trauma program manager at St. Joseph’s Hospital, told the Upshur County Board of Education that trauma is the number one killer of people under the age of 45 in the United States.

A review of what happened in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings by the Department of Homeland Security, White House and American College of Surgeons found that some of the victims could have been saved had they received help to stop the bleeding.

“Some of those could have been saved if bystanders like you had been trained and knowledgeable,” she said.

Stop the Bleed, started in 2015 nationally, is only getting started in Upshur County but has made progress in the southern half of the state, according to Smith.

In January and February, St. Joe’s found it took Upshur County EMS approximately 10 minutes to get on scene to an accident.

“If you can bleed to death in eight to 10 minutes than your chances of survival are gone before help even comes,” she said.

The idea behind the program is training citizens who may be on scene faster than emergency responders.

“It’s people like you who come up on the scene first,” she said. “We are trying to get across the United States people like you to take a small class. It takes 90 minutes. There’s a PowerPoint presentation and then a hands-on demonstration to learn briefly how to pack a wound, how to apply pressure and how to apply a tourniquet.

“St. Joseph’s trauma department has a goal to try to get a Stop the Bleed Kit in every classroom in Upshur County and on every bus,” she said.

“We want janitors, cooks, even students to be able to take this class, to learn how to use tourniquets, pack the wounds with cloth and use the little kits.”

Smith said the kits need to be in every classroom and on every bus because seconds count.

“Some people prefer to put a kit in the principal’s office on a wall next to the AED,” she said. “That’s really not going to work.”

The price is $23 per kit if the trauma department buys the gauze bandages, gloves and bags to assemble the kits in.

Smith said she is planning to request a donation from Buckhannon Rotary Club and hopes to visit churches and businesses to get classes throughout the county.

The kits have the gauze, tourniquets which can be used with one hand, trauma scissors, 4-by-4 gauze pads and gloves.

“It’s enough to use one time,” she said of the gauze materials and gloves. The scissors can be reused after they are sterilized.