Cheyenne Regional Medical Center trauma personnel are partnering with paramedics and firefighters from Cheyenne Fire Rescue to offer a “Stop the Bleed” course at CRMC as part of a national initiative to teach people how to stop bleeding in the event of a mass casualty incident or an accident.
The course will be taught in CRMC’s main auditoriums on March 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. The class is open to any member of the public and is being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Up to 75 people can participate.
The Stop the Bleed campaign was launched by the federal government in 2015 in the wake of school shootings and the loss of life that results when victims bleed to death.
“The focus of the course and the overall initiative is to provide bystanders at the scene of an accident or mass casualty incident with the tools and knowledge needed to stop life-threatening bleeding,” said Deborah Lacey, CRMC’s interim trauma program manager.
CRMC trauma personnel were trained to teach the course last summer. They have since provided the class to several local groups, including LCSD#1 nurses, a LCSD#2 school, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Dandies and first responders and other medical personnel who attended CRMC’s recent trauma skills fair.
The March 29 Stop the Bleed course will be the first one offered locally to the public at large.
“Uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death in multiple casualty situations that can include mass shootings or terrorist attacks or everyday events like motor vehicle accidents,” said Lisa Burton, MD, CRMC’s trauma medical director. “Stop the Bleed encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency. Those nearest to someone with life-threatening bleeding are best positioned to provide care until professional help arrives. Having bystanders trained and able to provide this kind of help can mean the difference between life and death to the victims.”
The hour-long course includes a combination of lecture and skills training on how to properly apply a tourniquet and place gauze in a bleeding wound.
Lacey said that the course is appropriate for adults and children as young as eight years old, but she cautioned that parents should use discretion as some of the course images are graphic.
“Non-medical people who have taken the course in Cheyenne have told us the information they learned was invaluable and that, as a result, they feel ready to help,” said Janelle Hoem, a clinical nursing educator with CRMC’s emergency department.
Funds to initiate the Stop the Bleed program in Cheyenne were provided by the CRMC Foundation. This funding has made it possible for CRMC’s trauma program to offer bleeding control kits to schools that receive Stop the Bleed training.
The Stop the Bleed course was developed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Several national organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, convened a joint committee to determine how to enhance survivability from intentional mass casualty and active shooter events. Stop the Bleed was an outcome of the committee’s work.
Lacey said that more Stop the Bleed courses will be offered at CRMC in the coming months. Groups can also request the course be taught to their members.
To schedule a group class or find out about upcoming courses at CRMC, email email@example.com