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Updated: Jul 6, 2022

STOP THE BLEED® is a program developed by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma in collaboration with the White House to empower citizens to take action and give life-saving first aid—especially in events with mass casualties. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took the lives of 20 children and 8 adults, a local Connecticut trauma surgeon assembled a group of experts that created the recommendations that would become STOP THE BLEED®. The recommendations were developed with in response to the reality that in events that cause mass trauma (like shootings, car accidents or explosions), every day citizen bystanders are often the first victims—and the first people on scene.

Learning live-saving skills with STOP THE BLEED® is important not only for events of mass casualties—even everyday accidents in the home or outdoors can cause severe bleeding and thus be life-threatening. STOP THE BLEED® will prepare to you rapidly and knowledgeably intervene in any situation in which severe bleeding is present.

Why is bleeding dangerous?

Beyond a shallow cut or scraped knee, bleeding can become very dangerous very quickly. When arteries are cut open, fatal bleeding can happen in just 30 seconds. In the United States, the average time it takes for people to bleed to death is 3-5 minutes, and the average 911 response is 7-10 minutes.

The time is ticking once severe bleeding begins. Stopping bleeding between the traumatic event and the arrival of medical professionals can be nothing short of life-saving. In fact, stopping bleeding is the single biggest tool lay-rescuers have to prevent fatalities after a trauma.

What happens when a patient is received by medical professionals?

Once medical professionals such as EMT's, Paramedics, or Nurses, take over or the patient is transferred to the hospital, they’ll receive more advanced treatment. Doctors might give medications that help build clots, perform blood transfusions, repair injuries, and treat for shock.

What will I learn in Stop the Bleed?

Most people are familiar with the concept of putting pressure on a wound to stop or slow bleeding. This is just one aspect of slowing bleeding that you’ll learn in STOP THE BLEED®. A certified instructor will teach you more advanced techniques like properly applying a tourniquet, what brand and model of tourniquets are most effective such as a CAT Tourniquet, and packing a wound with the hemostatic dressing QuikClot. We recommend purchasing and becoming comfortable with a Trauma Kit. You’ll also learn about the anatomy and physiology of the circulatory system to help you make important decisions stop bleeding fast and effectively. You’ll learn what is happening in the body when someone is experiencing exsanguination—the medical term for extreme blood loss.

STOP THE BLEED® is designed to teach you not only more advanced techniques, but give you the practice to feel confident and well-equipped to jump into action when the time calls. Your instructor may set up practice scenarios and use props and fake blood to get you as close to hands on practice as you can get outside of a real emergency. You’ll leave STOP THE BLEED® feeling empowered and aware of your important role as a citizen bystander. Sign up today!

REady To learn skills that save lives?

Sign up yourself, friends, family or company for a Stop the Bleed Course today. To view the schedule of upcoming free public courses or to get your own group together, check out our Courses page.

Visit the STOP THE BLEED® website to learn more about their cause.

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