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Compress And Control: Save Lives And Stop Bleeding During An Emergency

Understanding how to triage a bleeding wound can save a life.
Understanding how to triage a bleeding wound can save a life. Photo Credit: Montefiore Nyack Hospital

Knowing how to stop bleeding can be potentially lifesaving.

“Whether it’s caused by a natural or manmade disaster or an accident, knowing how to stop bleeding can save the life of someone who has a non-fatal wound,” said Jennifer Pastiglione, trauma program manager at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. “Too often, someone with a non-fatal wound dies from bleeding, when it could have been prevented if the bleeding had been stopped.”

That's why Montefiore Nyack Hospital is providing training for Rockland County residents, to teach bystanders how to stop bleeding. Pastiglione and other staff recently conducted a training session at Nyack High School. “We educated students about bleeding kits and showed them how to use the contents on mannequin legs," she said "We demonstrated how to apply pressure to stop bleeding with whatever you might have on hand, if a kit isn’t available.”

While training in how to stop bleeding is valuable, one can save a life even if they haven't been trained, Pastiglione said. To do so, the American College of Surgeons recommends following these steps:

Call 911

Call 911 yourself or tell someone else to call 911 right away.

Ensure Your Safety

Before offering any help, ensure your own safety. Then, provide care to the injured person if the scene is safe to do so. If at any time your safety is threatened, attempt to remove yourself -- and the victim, if possible -- from danger and find a safe location.

Look for Life-Threatening Bleeding

First, find the source of bleeding. Then, open or remove the clothing over the wound to see injuries that may have been hidden or covered. Look for and identify “life-threatening” bleeding. Examples include:

  • Blood that is spurting out of the wound or pooling on the ground
  • Blood that is soaking through clothing and bandages
  • Loss of all or part of an arm or leg
  • Bleeding in a victim who is now confused or unconscious

Compress and Control

If you don’t have a trauma first aid kit, first apply direct pressure on the wound. Use a clean cloth such as a shirt to cover the wound. If the wound is deep, “stuff” cloth into the wound while applying continuous pressure with both hands directly on top of the bleeding. Push down as hard as you can and continue pressure until relieved by medical responders.

If you do have a trauma first aid kit, experts recommends following similar steps. Pack the wound with a bleeding control gauze, plain gauze or a clean cloth and apply pressure with both hands until medical responders arrive.

“We want everybody to be educated about how to stop bleeding,” said Pastiglione. “You never know when that knowledge will be needed.”

To arrange for your school, facility or company to receive “Stop the Bleed” training in Rockland County, contact Jennifer Pastiglione at Pastiglionej@montefiorenyack.org.

For more information on the services offered by Montefiore Nyack Hospital, click here.

Daily Voice produced this article as part of a paid Content Partnership with our advertiser, Montefiore Nyack Hospital

We are highly selective with our Content Partners, and only share stories that we believe are truly valuable to the communities we serve.

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