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News from the American College of Surgeons

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Dan Hamilton
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National STOP THE BLEED Month will address home injuries during COVID-19 pandemic

National STOP THE BLEED Month will highlight how the public can help each other by knowing how to respond if someone near them is seriously injured

CHICAGO (May 1, 2020): Hospitals and first responders are busy caring for patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), but serious injuries still occur, and a person will have a better chance for survival if someone near them knows how to control serious bleeding. May 2020 marks the second annual National STOP THE BLEED® Month, and May 21, 2020, marks the third annual National STOP THE BLEED® Day. This year, these observances will highlight the importance of STOP THE BLEED® knowledge, particularly because so many people are staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the upcoming warmer months represent a time of year when traumatic injuries tend to spike.*

During National STOP THE BLEED® Month, first responders and leaders in the trauma community will share their thoughts about the importance of STOP THE BLEED®, and the public can help spread the word about STOP THE BLEED® by adding a National STOP THE BLEED® Month frame to their Facebook profile picture. Social media posts about this year’s observance will use the hashtags #NSTBM20 and #NSTBD20.

Although STOP THE BLEED® classes are not currently being held due to COVID-19, it is still important for the general public to understand how to respond when a bleeding injury occurs. Knowing how to use one’s hands, or something from home such as a t-shirt or towel, to apply pressure to a bleeding wound, how to pack a wound to control bleeding, and how to correctly apply a tourniquet can empower people to save a life. With a public that is empowered to STOP THE BLEED®, people can all help each other if they can recognize life-threatening bleeding and learn how to intervene to reduce a preventable death from injury.
 
The person who is right beside a bleeding victim may be the person who’s most likely to save them. That’s why one of the goals of STOP THE BLEED® is to turn civilians into “immediate responders”—a term that describes the first person at the scene of an injury. This person is rarely a trained medical provider. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s particularly important for the public to become an immediate responder since there may be longer response times from emergency personnel due to a high number of COVID-19 patients.

In the U.S. and around the world, more than 1.5 million people have been trained to STOP THE BLEED®, and nearly 80,000 people have become instructors who can hold STOP THE BLEED® courses in their community.

STOP THE BLEED® traces its origins to the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School shootings on December 14, 2012. Shortly afterward, the ACS partnered with law enforcement and other interested national organizations to develop the Hartford Consensus (where the initial meetings convened in Hartford, Conn.). From this group, an emergency response goal emerged to improve survival following mass shootings and other intentional acts of mass violence by empowering civilians to take life-saving action when the need arises, regardless of the situation or cause of the significant bleeding. STOP THE BLEED®, a national public awareness campaign was later launched in October of 2015 by the White House, with a call to action to begin training more people to become immediate responders.

Learn more at www.stopthebleed.org.

 

Lenworth Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS, discusses the potential for injuries at home during COVID-19 quarantine and the importance of knowing how to control bleeding.

 

Eileen M. Bulger, MD, FACS, discusses keeping children safe and the spike in injuries that often happens during summer months.

 

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*Stonko DP, Dennis BM, Callcut RA, et al. Identifying temporal patterns in trauma admissions: Informing resource allocation. PLoS ONE. 2018 13(12): e0207766. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207766.

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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 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 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.