June 7, 2023
Earlier this year, the Chicago Cubs became the first team in Major League Baseball to install STOP THE BLEED® kits, which are now available at 22 wall stations throughout Wrigley Field and in the Cubs’ front office.
Marking this historic collaboration between the ACS, the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, and the Chicago Cubs, ACS staff and volunteers donned Cubs blue and provided STOP THE BLEED training to baseball fans during a lively public event at the ballpark on May 25, which also happened to be First Responders Night and the sixth annual National STOP THE BLEED Day.
Nearly 40 volunteers braved the bitter Chicago winds to share information, provide education, and demonstrate bleeding control techniques for a few hours before and during the Cubs game against the New York Mets. Attendees also received a card with a QR code to learn more about STOP THE BLEED training and a customized game day t-shirt emblazoned with the message: “This shirt can save a life.”
“An event like today puts STOP THE BLEED in front so that the program isn’t just something the public has heard about. It’s something that people can see, touch, and feel,” said Jimm Dodd, ACS Senior Manager of STOP THE BLEED.
Uncontrolled bleeding from trauma is a major cause of preventable death for people of all ages, and the STOP THE BLEED program helps increase public and healthcare professional readiness response to bleeding emergencies. Since the program’s inception more than a decade ago, 2.8 million people worldwide have been trained in STOP THE BLEED techniques. The program now operates in 138 countries, including Ukraine, where it has been used to help to support those affected by the war.
“From the perspective of a trauma surgeon, the earlier the treatment is started, the better the outcome,” said David S. Shapiro, MD, MHCM, FCCM, FACS, chief medical officer and trauma surgeon at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, who attended the event and supports STOP THE BLEED initiatives in his community. “If a brave bystander can help slow or stop bleeding at the scene of the incident, we preserve resources like blood transfusions or fluids, and lives are saved. STOP THE BLEED just makes sense. I think we need to convey this training to everybody.”
Approximately 35,000 fans attended the game, and ACS volunteers estimate that they passed out 1,300 shirts. Among the visitors were families with young children, outdoor enthusiasts, and a California couple who was visiting Chicago during their nationwide tour of historic baseball stadiums.
Steven Szyndrowski, a professional wrestler who participated in a demonstration, noted that the skills he learned may help if unexpected emergencies arise during a wrestling event.
“I learned how to assess the damage of the wound and how to treat it until paramedics arrive,” he said. “People get cut and mistakes happen. I’ve seen guys who’ve gotten really bad cuts. No one knows what to do and everyone goes into panic mode. It’s nice to have some sort of basic knowledge of what to do to prevent those injuries from getting worse.”
To learn more about STOP THE BLEED or to become an instructor, visit stopthebleed.org.
Sheila Lai is a Senior Public Information Specialist in the ACS Division of Integrated Communications in Chicago, IL.