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

Did You Know? Stop the Bleed and

Did you know that the American College of Surgeons supports the “Stop the Bleed” campaign and launched

Ron Stewart, MD, FACS, Chair of the Committee on Trauma; Michael Zinner, MD, FACS, Chair of the ACS Board of Regents; and Lenworth Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS, vice-president of academic affairs and chief academic officer at Hartford Hospital and professor of surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, presented the history of the “Stop the Bleed” campaign and its current status at the Board of Governors meeting during Clinical Congress 2016.

The “Stop the Bleed” campaign was initiated by a federal interagency workgroup convened by the National Security Council Staff, The White House. Its purpose is to build national resilience by better preparing the public to save lives by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life-threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters.

During a presentation at Clinical Congress, participants were taught how rescuers could apply direct pressure to wounds manually and with dressings and how to apply a military-grade or improvised tourniquet.

Dr. Zinner reviewed the College’s past statements (1991, 2000, and 2003) and initiatives on gun violence, which support a ban on high-velocity military grade weapons and large magazines, support background checks on individuals seeking to purchase firearms, and support the call for research on injury prevention, as articulated by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, the National Institute of Health, and the National Trauma Institute.

Dr. Stewart reviewed the Committee on Trauma’s consideration of these topics, which are summarized in the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) Prevention Committee’s Statement on Firearm Injuries, as published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. The emphasis of the Committee on Trauma has been advocacy for research on firearm injury prevention.

The most recent ACS statement on firearm injuries (2013) is available online.

Dr. Jacobs summarized the multidisciplinary, multiagency work, which culminated in a consensus document entitled “The Hartford Consensus.” Dr. Jacobs’ interest in involving the citizenry and the “Stop the Bleed” campaign came from his review of first aid initiatives that were, or could have been, taken at mass casualties such as the Boston Marathon and the shooting at Shady Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Supported by the executive branch of the government (President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joseph Biden), as well as 12 partnering agencies (including the FBI, FEMA, and the U.S. Department of Defense), a multifaceted initiative incorporating information, education, demonstration, and empowerment was developed. This initiative was the basis of the demonstration held during Clinical Congress. Principles of first aid for exsanguination, including assessment of ongoing threat, compression, and tourniquet application, were reviewed.

Defibrillators are commonly seen hanging on the wall in public places. Eventually, we anticipate that compressive dressings and tourniquets will be made available for public use in a similar way.

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