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Greater Public Access to Bleeding Control Training and Kits Receives Strong Support within the U.S. Medical Community

ACS-sponsored resolution to enlarge the pool of trained responders who can render assistance to victims of mass casualty events and to provide bleeding control kits is approved by AMA House of Delegates

NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHICAGO (June 15, 2016): Yesterday the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates (HoD) approved a resolution introduced by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and other medical societies to train more professional first responders (i.e., police and firefighters) and civilians as immediate responders in the essential techniques of bleeding control and to place bleeding control kits (containing tourniquets, pressure bandages, hemostatic dressings, and gloves) with first responders. The text of the resolution pointed out that “active shooter events have occurred in 40 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia,” resulting in hundreds of deaths and catastrophic injuries to survivors.

Arm tourniquetTo ensure the success of this initiative, state medical and specialty societies are now being called upon to advocate for the training of both the lay public and professional responders in bleeding control techniques. This type of training will enlarge the pool of first responders who can render assistance to victims of mass shootings and other mass casualty events.

This new HoD policy puts forth the recommendations of the Hartford Consensus™. Convened by the American College of Surgeons, the deliberations of the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events, are nationally known as the Hartford Consensus. The group’s core principle is that “no one should die from uncontrolled bleeding.”

To that end, the Hartford Consensus calls for providing law enforcement officers with the training and equipment needed to act before EMS personnel arrive, providing EMS professionals with quicker access to the wounded, and also training civilian bystanders to act as immediate responders at the point of wounding if it is safe for them to act.  This element from the Hartford Consensus is at the heart of the “Stop the Bleed” campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the National Security Council.

There was overwhelming support among the delegates for the adoption of this resolution, which was introduced on the heels of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12.

“This new policy really moves this important initiative forward in terms of our development of a training program for the public, not just health care professionals, so that civilians can learn how to act as immediate responders and save lives,” said Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, MPH, FACS, Chair of the Hartford Consensus and director of the Trauma Institute at Hartford (Conn.) Hospital. “We already know from a national public opinion poll published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons that members of the public are willing to be trained—along with law enforcement and emergency medical responders—to accept this important responsibility.”

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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.

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