The "Stop the Bleed" campaign, initiated by the American College of Surgeons, is a national program aimed at training individuals in basic bleeding control techniques to save lives in emergencies. These guidelines focus on empowering bystanders to take immediate action in case of severe bleeding.
The following are the key steps recommended by the American College of Surgeons for "Stop the Bleed":
Ensure Personal Safety:
Always prioritize your own safety. Ensure that the scene is safe for you to approach and provide assistance.
In any severe bleeding emergency, it is essential to call 911 or emergency services to ensure that professional medical assistance is on the way.
Identify the Source of Bleeding:
Quickly identify the source of bleeding. Look for wounds or areas where blood is actively flowing or pooling.
Apply Direct Pressure:
Use your hands or a cloth to apply firm, direct pressure to the wound. If possible, use a clean cloth, bandage, or gauze to prevent direct contact with the blood.
Use Dressings and Bandages:
If direct pressure alone doesn't stop the bleeding, use dressings or bandages to cover the wound and apply additional pressure. Maintain consistent pressure until the bleeding is under control.
If the bleeding is severe and not responding to direct pressure or dressings, consider using a tourniquet as a last resort. Place the tourniquet above the bleeding site, if possible. Ensure it is tight enough to stop the blood flow but not so tight that it causes other problems. Document the time the tourniquet was applied.
Continue to Monitor:
Continue to monitor the injured person's condition, especially if a tourniquet has been applied. Make sure the tourniquet remains effective, and do not remove it.
Provide Emotional Support:
Stay with the injured person and provide reassurance and emotional support. Severe bleeding can be traumatic, and your presence can help keep the individual calm.
The "Stop the Bleed" program emphasizes the importance of early intervention by bystanders, as controlling severe bleeding within the first few minutes after an injury can significantly improve a person's chances of survival. The program also offers hands-on training and resources to help individuals become more confident in their ability to assist in emergency situations involving severe bleeding.
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