ERIE, Pa - Tuesday May 23, 2017 - Trying to remain calm during a situation involving mass casualties is not easy, but it's important for the public to know how to step up and possibly save a life.
Very few people enjoy the sight of blood. But even if you can't stomach it, you should know how to handle it when it occurs.
In a mass casualties situation, immediate response is required before paramedics arrive. The nationwide "Stop the Bleed" campaign is trying to educate the public on what to do if you encounter a victim needing immediate assistance and bleeding profusely.
"We are not trying to teach people to go into the hot zone or active danger zone, but when it's over or there is relative safety, if you are right the thing to do is act, not just stare because their life is ebbing away," says UPMC Hamot Trauma Surgeon Dr. Paul Malaspina.
The "Stop the Bleed" campaign teaches to put immense immediate pressure on the wound until it stops bleeding.
"Just keep pressing hard, don't let the blood come out that is really all there is to it," says Malaspina. "If you have bled out CPR doesn't do any good there is no blood to pump."
Bleeding out is one of the leading causes of death in trauma and a patients chance of survival increases with immediate help.
Medical professionals want to make this training as common as CPR. The campaign, with the help of UPMC Hamot is going into schools, teaching law enforcement, and others. Kits containing gauze, gloves and tourniquets are being passed out at schools, to police officers and even in our local arenas.
The campaign was initiated by several organizations including the Department of Defense and Homeland Security after the Sandy Hook tragedy.