Teachers trained to stop blood flow

While students have summer vacation on their minds, teachers in Milford thought about safety Wednesday morning during a “Stop The Bleeding” training session.

“This is not necessarily related to just mass shootings, which unfortunately are in the news, and have been in the news a lot. It is also related to other things that could happen as a result of somebody having a significant wound that needs bleeding control,” Eric Schelberg, director of Milford Ambulance, said.

He and Mark Hastings, director of Emergency Management at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, presented the training to roughly 30 teachers at Jacques Elementary School in Milford.

Schelberg said he hopes teachers never have to use the training, but hopes it will allow them to attend to someone with a bleeding issue if the situation presents itself.

Hastings cited the loss of life at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

“As Eric mentioned, a lot of this came about from mass shootings,” Hastings said.

“Sandy Hook is one of the ones where bleeding control was not initiated. It’s thought that some of those children could have been saved if teachers had some basic skills in bleeding control.”

So, they walked teachers through a PowerPoint presentation to show them how to respond to bleeding, recognize life-threatening bleeding, and the appropriate ways to stop bleeding. Hastings said there is a lot people can do while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

“There’s a lot of focus on the mass shootings and bombings, as related to terrorism, but the likelihood of you finding something more related to work-related injuries…the home stuff or motor vehicle crashes. That’s where you’ll probably end up using these skills,” Hastings said.

However, he also said one’s own safety is important because if he or she gets injured, they won’t be able to help the person, and as a result, require double the resources. Also, he said to either call 911 or tell someone else to call, making sure they actually do.

Schelberg said to only hang up on the 911 operator when they tell you to hang up because they’re going to require information such as how many people are involved, and especially in an active shooter situation, the quantity and type of resources emergency responderes will need to bring.

However, in the meantime, Hastings said if there’s no trauma first aid kit available, to use any type of cloth, preferably a clean one, to apply steady pressure. He said if possible, get the person to a firm surface so there’s something to push against. Later in the presentation, a slide came up showing a man taking off his shirt to use it to apply pressure to someone’s wound.

“You saw a lot of this at the Boston Marathon bombing, people just taking anything they could find to stop the bleeding,” Hastings said.

He said people used belts and ties, but not one of those makeshift tourniquets was effective in saving lives.

“What saved those lives in Boston was all the close proximity to five Level 1 trauma centers,” Hastings said. “So, that time component was very brief, but you can’t really make an effective tourniquet with a belt or a necktie.”

So, they then showed teachers what tourniquets are and how to properly use one.

“These are commercial devices and we are recommending that commercial devices be used because if you do a homemade tourniquet, you can actually cause them to bleed out faster,” Schelberg said.

The teaching now is to use the tourniquet high and tight, and they both said it will hurt the patient. The kits are designed to stop the flow of blood, and Schelberg said even when turning it just once, a person will feel it.

“Lose the limb, save the life,” Schelberg said. “That’s what this is all about.”

He said to never apply them over a joint and to never apply them over a pocket with bulky items inside. He advised teachers to turn twice. If the bleeding stops at that point, lock it down.

However, if it doesn’t stop the flow of blood, to crank it a third time. If that doesn’t stop the blood, then get another tourniquet and put it on right below it. A tourniquet can only be cranked three times, and they are single-use devices.

Hastings said there are a lot of commercial made kits out there, but they focused mainly on Combat Application Tourniquets and SOF Tactical Tourniquets.

“In Nashua, all the police, fire and EMS use the SOF T’s,” Hastings said.

With that, Hastings applied a tourniquet to himself as an example and continued on through the rest of the slides before giving some simulations for tourniquets and bleeding control.

Posted: 6/28/2018 by Adam Urquhart, The Telegraph