Turning Bystanders Into Life Saving First Responders

April 9, 2019 [TELLURIDE, CO] – The Telluride Medical Center, in partnership with The Western Slope Trauma Collaborative and a grant from Colorado Dept of Health and Human Services, has installed forty-one Stop the Bleed trauma kits at every AED station in the Telluride Fire Protection District.

In addition to housing portable electronic defibrillators for cardiac emergencies, each AED station will now contain instructions and tools to allow bystanders to control life-threatening bleeding and provide immediate care to an injured person until professional emergency responders arrive.

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign aimed at turning regular citizens into first responders who can assist someone who may be bleeding from an accident, car crash or active shooter event.

“Blood loss is the top cause of preventable death in trauma.”

“We want to make sure everyone in the community is prepared to help in any emergency,” said Melissa Tuohy, trauma nurse coordinator at the Telluride Medical Center.

Adding Stop the Bleed trauma kits to AED stations is only the latest effort made by Tuohy, who helped launch The Western Slope Trauma Collaborative last fall. She and her team have made expanded community access to life-saving  control tools, resources and training a top priority this past year by creating the trauma kits and offering free Stop The Bleed trainings to the public and local trauma professionals.

In an emergency, bystanders can find the Trauma Kits at any AED Station in Telluride and Mountain Village. According to Tuohy, you don’t have to have prior training to use the kit which includes instructions on how to “stuff” a wound and properly apply a tourniquet; scissors; gauze squares; gauze roll; gloves; and a tourniquet.

"No matter how rapid the arrival of emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene and the first link in someone's chain of survival,” said Tuohy.

Western Slope Trauma Collaborative received funding for the project from the Western Regional EMS and Trauma Advisory Council, a State funded organization committed to improving emergency care in Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties.

For more information on how to attend or host a Stop the Bleed Training, email Tuohy at mtuohy@tellmed.org.