To help learn the basic skills needed to stop bleeding, Womack Army Medical Center’s security forces participated in training provided by the WAMC trauma team, Dec. 6, in the Emergency Department.
The training emphasized the ABCs of bleeding. When you first see someone who is injured and bleeding, you need to alert someone by calling 911.
The next step is to find the bleeding injury and get to it by removing any clothing or other articles that may be in the way. After that, you compress by applying pressure to stop the bleeding. This can either be manual pressure or the pressure applied by a tourniquet if applying one is necessary.
The security personnel had the opportunity to pack a wound and apply pressure, as well as put on a tourniquet on a specially designed manikin to experience just exactly how much twisting or pressure it takes to effectively stop the bleeding.
“Packing a wound took a little more effort and exertion than I was expecting,” said Sgt. Stacey Ulep, a sergeant with WAMC’s security team. “Security is part of the first responder force for any calls for assistance in the facility or the parking lot, so it’s important for us to know how to stop bleeding. This is extremely valuable training.”
Dr. (Maj.) Christina Riojas, a general surgeon at WAMC, taught the initial classroom familiarization and provided assistance during the hands-on practice.
She stressed the importance of teaching non-medical personnel how to stop bleeding at the scene of the injury until medical personnel arrive.
“The chances are pretty high that there is not going to be a medical professional already on the scene of an accident or injury-causing event,” she said. “It’s important to know the basics of how to control bleeding and practice before you’re in a situation where you have to provide care. In the heat of the moment is not the first time you want to be figuring out how to apply a tourniquet.”
The “Stop the Bleed” training is part of a national initiative to teach individuals basic steps to control bleeding. WAMC started by teaching the security forces and is working with Fort Bragg schools and the military police to coordinate additional training events.
“The training is free and easy to provide,” said Dr. (Maj.) Tim Plackett, chief of trauma, WAMC. “We hope to train as many people as we can within the local community and that’s more than just here on Fort Bragg. Anyone who would like to coordinate it for their unit or group just needs to contact us to arrange a date and time.”
The training only takes an hour and requires no previous medical experience or training. Anyone interested in scheduling a class for their group can contact Jennifer Carney, trauma program coordinator, WAMC, by email at jennifer.a.carney3.civ@mail.mil.