As active shooter and mass casualty events continue, a national movement has emerged to respond to tragedies.
Dr. Grace Change at Mount Sinai is the chair of the Stop The Bleed initiative. It’s a program designed to teach ordinary citizens bleeding control techniques.
“You can grab a shirt or any piece of clothing and basically completely stuff it in the wound and hold a lot of pressure until the bleeding stops,” she said. “This doesn’t necessarily feel great for the patient this does hurt but you know you are stopping the bleeding.”
Tourniquets can be a bit trickier. She says to place the band two to three centimeters above the wound and tighten.
“But most people don’t have tourniquet so the pressure and the packing is really important for everyone to know,” Dr. Chang said. “Honestly, if you have appropriate pressure and packing it’s almost as good as a tourniquet.”
A high-velocity rifle, such as the one used in the Highland Park parade shooting, changes the nature of the wound and rapid fire can result in many wounds on a single person.
“With the high-powered artillery, they cause so much damage going in and out,” Dr. Chang said. “Even one gunshot wound from something more high-powered will cause 10 or 20 times more damage than just a normal gunshot.”
No matter the weapon, intervention is key to increasing survival.
“It’s estimated about a third of people will bleed out before they get to the hospital,” she said.
Millions of people have taken the course, which is available online and in person.