Civilians can help ‘Stop the Bleed’

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Civilians  can help  ‘Stop the  Bleed’Emergency Department manager Breanne Chromi promotes training offered by RRH to “Stop the Bleed.” — Photo by Laura Austin

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About 5 million people from around the globe die each year from traumatic injuries, with about 16 percent of those deaths being preventable through more rapid, effective measures taken to control hemorrhage.

According to Breanne Chromi, emergency department manager at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, it can take only minutes to bleed out. For large abdominal wounds, it can take as little as seconds. Depending on the location of the wounded individual, getting emergency services personnel on the scene can take far longer than that — a time gap that potentially leaves bystanders as the first line of defense against traumatic blood loss.

“The ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign was actually put out originally by Homeland Security after the Sandy Hook tragedy,” said Chromi.

Through that initiative, healthcare stewards put together quick and simple training that instructs citizens in the basic skills to stop bleeding and possibly save lives through this early action.

“This is not something you have to renew every year, though you can certainly take a refresher if you need to,” said Chromi.

Although public awareness of the need to help prevent blood loss is not necessarily as high-profile as the need to learn CPR — another training offered free by the hospital — Chromi said that the occasions to help stem blood loss are probably more frequent than is the call for administration of CPR.

“There were a lot of people who, after the Las Vegas shooting, talked about how they had had the training and were able to compress the site of bleeding for many of the victims,” said Chromi. Although some of them were healthcare professionals, some were just regular citizens who learned the skills through outreach programs such as the one hosted by RRH.

The first in this series of trainings was held this weekend, said Chromi. The instruction is quick and the students then have an opportunity for hands-on training with compression and tourniquet techniques.

“Being able to recognize the danger and make that split-second decision for action on site can be life saving to someone who would otherwise have to wait for an ambulance,” said Chromi.

“We have seen people come in [to the emergency department] after using these tactics, and it has absolutely helped them.”

The next training will be held Wednesday, Aug. 1, in the North Medical Plaza of RRH. Three separate classes are available: 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. To register call the RRH Education Department at 760-499-3831.

Story First Published: 2018-07-27