Helping Teachers Prepare for the Next Mass Shooting

stop the bleed

By Debbie Gregory.

As mass shootings become more common, UAB Hospital, a Level I trauma center hospital located in Birmingham, Alabama is the first hospital in the state to offer Stop the Bleed training in schools.

Launched in October of 2015 by the White House, Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and a call to action. Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

Taught by medical professionals, many of whom served in the military including trauma surgeons and nurses, the training demonstrates how to apply tourniquets, pressure, and dressing to life-threatening wounds.

Trauma surgeon Dr. Virginia Strickland said school districts initially resisted the tourniquet training, not wanting to face the reality that it might one day happen to them.

After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, the American College of Surgeons began a campaign to improve access to tourniquets.

Bleeding can cause death in five to eight minutes, and in many situations, first responders would not be able to provide life-saving aid in that amount of time.

Advances made by military medicine and research in hemorrhage control during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have informed the work of this initiative which exemplifies translation of knowledge back to the homeland to the benefit of the general public.

Finding a Basic Bleeding Control (BCon) class is as simple as visiting the official website and clicking on the Find a Class button. From there you can filter your search results by location and date.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

New Combat Tourniquet Introduced for Torso Injuries


By Debbie Gregory.

How do you put a tourniquet around the chest?”

It couldn’t be done with the standard issue Combat Application Tourniquet for torso or high leg and arm wounds developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz and Dr. John Croushorn.

So now the Army has now developed “junctional tourniquets” to stop bleeding for most body areas that can’t be serviced by conventional tourniquets.

Developed at Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), Fort Dietrich, Maryland, the junctional tourniquet is essentially a belt with one or more inflatable air bladders that can be puffed up, somewhat like a blood pressure cuff, to apply pressure to a wound. The Army’s Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA), a subordinate command of USAMRMC, has already begun fielding the new tourniquets to improve battlefield survivability rates.

“The device is designed so that a person can position it in under a minute — a crucial factor for combat medics who only have mere minutes to save a fellow warfighter’s life if he or she is hemorrhaging,” according to USAMMA.

The Army found that getting a tourniquet in place quickly and “not necessarily by a medical person but by the infantryman, the soldier that was right there on the ground when the injury occurred – getting that tourniquet on saved a lot of lives,” said Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, who serves as surgeon general of the Army and commander of the Army Medical Command.

The correct use of tourniquets contributed to survivability rates from battlefield wounds that averaged 89.8 percent in Iraq and 91.4 percent in Afghanistan, compared to 76 percent in Vietnam, 78.2 percent in Korea, and 70.7 percent in World War II, according to Army statistics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, post-traumatic bleeding is the leading cause of potentially preventable death among trauma patients. In response, the Department of Homeland Security began a new program called “Stop the Bleed.” The program emphasizes the role bystanders can play in saving lives.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.