When an emergency hits with numerous injured flooding through the doors of the Womack Army Medical Center Emergency Department, having instant access to medical supplies that can help stop the bleeding is a must. To help prepare for this worst-case scenario, the Womack ED has six bleeding control bags strategically located at key access points throughout the department to be quickly grabbed if needed.
The bags can help control bleeding on up to 17 injured patients. Each kit contains 27 pairs of nitrile gloves, two pairs of EMS shears, tourniquets, hemostatic dressings and pressure dressings. The bright orange bag is designed to be easy to find, light and easy to carry, either in your hands or as a backpack.
Because the bags are portable, they can easily be taken out of the Emergency Department and anywhere patients are being triaged and treated.
“We continuously train for events like an active shooter and these bags are designed for those types of injuries,” said Dianne Bunch, chief nurse, Department of Emergency Medicine, WAMC. “They can be quickly grabbed and provide immediate access to the equipment medical personnel need to control bleeding.”
Bunch said that the evaluation team from the Joint Commission lauded Womack for having the bags and cited them as a best practice.
“We are always looking for ways to better prepare ourselves for mass casualty events,” she said. “These bleeding control bags are a tool that help increase our response time should the need arise.”
Outside of training events, the Emergency Department has not needed to use the bleeding control bags, but they hang at the ready – just in case.