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EMS: A Year in Review

Training Bystanders in Bleeding Control

In this year-end review, we highlight seven concerns that EMS experts say influenced their training in 2017.

 

Hemorrhage is the second leading cause of death for patients in the prehospital environment - accounting for 30-40% of all mortality.1

In many of these instances, bystanders are present before professional rescuers are. However, without training and confidence to intervene, bystanders may feel helpless and hesitate to take action.

According to Kenny Navaro, an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, “bystanders who self-report a feeling of competence to provide emergency first aid are more likely to help victims of traumatic injury. The feeling of competence is positively correlated to first aid training”.2 Additionally, Navaro suggests that lay rescuers play a vital role in providing immediate bleeding control.

Somebody can bleed to death in 3 to 4 minutes. There are circumstances where the person next to you is the best person to save your life.*

Dr. Eileen Bulger, Chief of Trauma at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center

In 2015, the White House addressed the importance of layperson intervention, and launched a “Stop the Bleed” awareness campaign locally and nationally.3 EMS support is critical to the success of the campaign, and many systems have begun providing community trainings that include both lecture and hands-on task training practice.

It is essential that hemorrhage control join CPR as an appropriate component of every citizen’s knowledge base.**

Dr. Peter Pons, Emergency Medicine Physician and Researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Engaging the public is key when it comes to bystander hemorrhage control. Brief simulations, focused entirely on technique and appropriate pressure, can reinforce the average lay person’s confidence to treat bleeding wounds.

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