Learning how to care for civilians who are bleeding in an emergency

October 04, 2017 11:52 PM

COLONIE - "Try to cut off the blood flow if we have a bleeding wound."

The lesson here is hemorrhage control.

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"By cutting off the blood flow we stop the bleed and hopefully stabilize the patient long enough to get to the hospital," EMS Fellow, Tom Williams said.

The Regional Emergency Medical Organization offers courses for EMT's in training, only you won't find the students wearing gloves because tonight they're preparing for a unique situation. 

"What were training the students to do today is just practice in a crisis situation as if though they were impacted by something horrific that happened near them, hopefully never like Las Vegas again but we do think about situations like that," Michael Dailey, MD, FACEP said.

Sadly, more and more Americans are placed in situations where they're forced to save the lives of fellow strangers and there is a protocol to helping someone who is bleeding from a wound.

No matter how fast a first responder might arrive on the scene, a bystander will always be there before anyone else so it's absolutely paramount that you apply pressure first knowing the person can bleed out in the first five minutes."

"The bleeding may start to appear to go under control when it's just trickling instead of spurting that's great that means you're heading in the right direction," Dr. Dailey said.

In an emergency when you don't have a tourniquet, there are ways you to improvise.

"You can use anything, you can use a towel, you can use your shirt and then you take the towel and tie it really tight tie it up, tape it up."

Then, finding something that is rod- like, a stick, pen or in this case butter knife will help crank the impromptu tourniquet to properly stop the bleeding. 

A belt can be used if nothing else is available but it isn't ideal.

"Because you have to get through everything right down to where the vessels are and the belt just doesn't get tight enough."

It's a lesson Dr. Dailey says everyone should learn, regardless of the situation.

"It's not just for the case like Las Vegas it's for the person on the motorcycle that has a wreck right in front of you, it's for the person that cuts them self, every one of the situations allows bystanders the opportunity to save a life of a stranger," Dr. Dailey explained.

"Stop the Bleed" is a national campaign that encourages people to learn how to help others in a bleeding emergency before a first responder arrives. To learn more, click here.


Karen Tararache

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