Stop the Bleed can help keep people alive until emergency help arrives |

Stop the Bleed can help keep people alive until emergency help arrives

Students perform exercises with tourniquets and gauze during a Stop the Bleed course.

The Stop the Bleed awareness campaign has trained over 1 million people on how to assist someone with severe bleeding until emergency help arrives.

“People bleed to death in five to eight minutes,” Jen Elias, Valley View Hospital Trauma Program manager, said. “It can happen just that fast.”

Elias and first responders have taught the Stop the Bleed program to Valley View Hospital and Holy Cross Energy employees and Glenwood Springs High School students.

Next, Elias will teach the course to students at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.

“Two goals of the entire program are to identify what life-threatening bleeding looks like and how to fix it,” Elias said. “Whether you pack a wound, whether you just apply pressure or whether you put a tourniquet on.”

A grant funded 80 tourniquets in Glenwood Springs High School, and Valley View Hospital has pledged to install tourniquet and gauze kits in non-critical areas.

“Kits are being placed strategically, everywhere that you would find an AED [Automated External Defibrillator] they are trying to get Stop the Bleed kits that just have a tourniquet and some gauze,” Elias said.

The Stop the Bleed national public awareness campaign started in Oct. 2015.

Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, a group of trauma surgeons partnered with public officials and first responders to develop professional recommendations for improving survival rates for individuals with severe bleeding.

“Of course, before all of this, we tell them your safety is most important,” Elias said. “The last thing you need is another victim.”

According to Elias, in addition to ensuring ones own safety and calling 911, the 45-minute presentation gets hands-on.

“How to put on a tourniquet and how it feels once its on…one of the most important things when it comes to tourniquets is just knowing how painful they can be especially when they’re on appropriately,” Elias said.

Elias will present at Roaring Fork High School on Nov. 12, 14 and 19 and hopes to continue to teach the curriculum to schools and businesses throughout the region.

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