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"The best thing they can do is apply pressure," how a nationwide campaign aims to stop bleed outs during traumatic events

Stop The Bleed program offered through Lee Health
Posted at 8:03 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 20:03:26-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla.  — "Stop The Bleed" is a national public awareness campaign that was established after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

After the tragic events, a trauma surgeon who was the chair of the Connecticut state committee on trauma and an ACS regent, put together a panel of national experts to come up with a program that could help victims be more proactive in the event of a mass tragedy.

The program has been offered through Lee Health for over five years. They've worked with schools, law enforcement and other entities throughout Southwest Florida holding events and providing trauma kits.

According to the Stop The Bleed website, a person who has an arterial bleed can bleed out in less than three minutes.

"You need to stop that bleed so they survive," Syndi Bultman, injury prevention resource coordinator with Lee Health, says. She said that, after you’ve determined the surroundings are safe and you’ve called 9-1-1, you’ll have to react.

Bultman says pressure is priority: "The best thing they can do is apply pressure," and to keep applying pressure until first responders arrive.

With recent events like the mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, Bultman says these simple skills and tools can be the difference between life and death, which is why they've made it a priority to make their rounds through Southwest Florida to educate the community.

"We went out and educated all law enforcement officers and gave each one of them their own kit and some of the kids, I believe, were trained in the school as well."

Bultman says they haven't heard of any school personnel needing to use these trauma kits, "But, we have had law enforcement use it during car wrecks in the area, which is the most common traumatic injury in our area."

But, Bultman says, knowing what to do in the event of a mass shooting, car wreck or any traumatic event, they want to make sure the program reaches everyone.

"We’re getting them what they should do and we also teach them about other things they can do. You don’t have to have a cause - grab whatever you can and use it."

While the thought of a traumatic event is never at the forefront of our minds, "We have education for everybody because you never know where it’s going to happen, all different ages are going to be there and we need everybody to learn because they’ll be chipping in at that time. They’re the ones who are going to be the first responder and giving those people a chance for survival."

You can contact Lee Health to have "Stop the Bleed" come to your school or business. Bultman says even if you have your own trauma kit, they will come to you and educate you on how to properly use it and treat wounds.