CAMC trains W.Va. school nurses to ‘Stop the Bleed’ after injury

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia school employees are taking part in a nationwide campaign that teaches them how to control an injured person from bleeding to death.

Employees with Charleston Area Medical Center were at the Kanawha County Board of Education office in Charleston Monday to explain techniques that can help save lives at school or in the community.

The campaign, Stop the Bleed, is an initiative from the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus. It contains diagrams, videos and tips to show the public how to respond to mass casualty situations.

In today’s world, acts of terrorism and mass shootings are all too common. Doug Douglas, trauma nurse clinician with CAMC, said school employees need to be prepared for these types of incidents because they are first on scene.

“We need to train the immediate responders. The immediate responders are those that are on the scene before EMS or law enforcement gets on the scene, so in a school situation it’s the teachers, the students, the faculty,” Douglas said.

The CAMC Foundation provided a nearly $30,000 grant to purchase bleeding control kits for every middle and high school in Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln and Clay counties. There are 33 schools that will receive kits from the foundation.

Schools nurses from those counties were in Charleston Monday to learn how to train their teachers and staff how to stop the bleeding. Douglas explained the ABC’s of bleeding during a presentation:

AAlert: Call 911
BBleeding: Find the bleeding injury.
CCompress: Apply pressure to stop the bleeding by:

  • Covering the wound with a clean cloth and applying pressure by pushing directly on it with both hands.
  • Using a tourniquet.
  • Packing (filling) the wound with gauze or a clean cloth and then applying pressure with both hands.

Douglas said if you do not have access to a tourniquet, use a clothing item that is not stretchy and about 1 1/2 inches wide like a belt, tie or shirt. He said make sure to wrap the tourniquet about 2-3 inches above the wound, apply direct pressure and to leave it on until the person is hospitalized.

Time is of the essence, Douglas said.

“Usually there’s a 3-5 minute window. If somebody has an arterial bleed, a major avulsion or laceration, that 3-5 minutes can save a life,” he said.

Brenda Isaac, lead school nurse for Kanawha County Schools, said the training is important for everyone to know.

“If it’s a major bleed, anybody can stop the bleed if they have this information and they know what to do. They can stop the bleed, so that when the paramedics get there, the patient is still alive,” she said.

For more information on how to Stop the Bleed, CLICK HERE.

Any organization who would like to receive employee training from CAMC is encouraged to call Doug Douglas at (304)-388-7809.

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