American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

News from the American College of Surgeons
For Immediate Release

May 20 is the fourth annual National STOP THE BLEED® Day

This year, new opportunities exist for learning to STOP THE BLEED®, both virtually and in-person


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CHICAGO (May 17, 2021): Traumatic injuries can occur any time and in many forms. May 20, 2021, marks the fourth annual National STOP THE BLEED® Day, which falls during the broader observance of National STOP THE BLEED® Month in May. As people around the world begin to carefully come out of quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, National STOP THE BLEED® Day provides a renewed opportunity to highlight why it’s important that everyone learn how to control serious bleeding through STOP THE BLEED® training. 

Much of the world adapted in different ways to the events of the past year and STOP THE BLEED® is no exception. New opportunities now exist for learning to STOP THE BLEED® virtually. However, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) still recommends the in-person course as the best way to learn these skills, and courses are available again in several areas of the country with appropriate COVID-19 social distancing precautions in place. During this year’s observance, members of the public are encouraged to get trained by finding a course in their area or learning about bleeding control techniques online, and those in approved instructor categories are encouraged to become a STOP THE BLEED® instructor.

STOP THE BLEED® is a powerful tool for any bleeding emergency, including everyday injuries and accidents. Knowing how to respond in the event of a bleeding emergency can help save a life before professional help arrives.

Anyone can save a life when they know how to control serious bleeding. Recent success stories include a physician assistant who applied a tourniquet to a man who had sliced his arm on broken glass. She was able to control the bleeding until an ambulance arrived. Also, a quick-thinking volunteer emergency medical technician in Baltimore was able to use a nearby STOP THE BLEED® kit to help save a man with a gunshot wound.

The importance of STOP THE BLEED® lies not just in training the public, but also in the widespread availability of STOP THE BLEED® kits in public places. A recent study appearing in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons showed that in Los Angeles County, the availability and increasing use of tourniquets led to improved survival and a decreased need for blood transfusions in patients with severe bleeding.

This year, STOP THE BLEED® State Champions will share their thoughts on the importance of STOP THE BLEED® and why it is particularly important in their communities. Keep an eye on the STOP THE BLEED® ACS Twitter and Facebook accounts for more information, and join the conversation on social media by using the #NSTDB21 hashtag.

STOP THE BLEED® traces its origins to the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School shootings on December 14, 2012. Shortly afterward, 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. This Presidential Policy Directive was a result of the Sandy Hook tragedy and others that had occurred previously. President Barack Obama required that the Department of Homeland Security create a more resilient citizenry, utilizing the success of bleeding control skills from the battlefield in both Iraq and Afghanistan to empower the public to become immediate responders.

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.

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


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