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Trauma Nurses Aim to Save Lives with Stop the Bleed Campaign

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You’ve just witnessed an accident, there’s blood, your heart is pounding. What do you do?

Trauma nurses at the Telluride Regional Medical Center will soon offer free Stop the Bleed classes for the community.

“Blood loss is the top cause of preventable death in trauma. We want to make sure everyone in the community is prepared to stop bleeding in any emergency,” said Melissa Tuohy, trauma nurse coordinator at the Telluride Regional Medical Center.

Tuohy and her peers at five other regional medical centers and hospitals are making access to life-saving resources and training a top priority in the coming months.

The Western Slope Trauma Collaborative, which Tuohy helped launch last fall, are planning to train people how to stop uncontrolled bleeding. Their group 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.

Next month, medical staff in Telluride, Montrose, Delta and Grand Junction will be trained as educators, and by May, in conjunction with National EMS Week, May 20 – 26, Tuohy’s team will offer Stop the Bleed classes in tandem with local EMS CPR / AED Education courses.

Stop the Bleed sessions last about a half hour and train bystanders to stop active, life threatening bleeding. “We think this is very important training,” said Tuohy. “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.”

This summer Tuohy anticipates Stop the Bleed wound kits will also be installed at AED stations, where portable electronic portable defibrillators are available for cardiac emergencies.

Stop the Bleed wound kits contain supplies such as gauze and tourniquets. The gauze can be used to pack wounds and apply pressure to stop bleeding. Tourniquets are used to control heavy bleeding from an arm or leg, which is also known as extremity hemorrhage.

These efforts are part of a national Stop the Bleed campaign, aimed to turn regular citizens into first responders who can assist someone who may be bleeding from emergencies including accidents, motor vehicle crashes and active shooter events.

“We aim to do what CPR education has been doing for decades, we want to train and empower regular people to save lives,” said Tuohy.

For more information about upcoming Stop the Bleed classes, or to arrange a class for your business, organization or group, visit tellmed.org.