Free "Stop the Bleed" course teaches public to save lives in a disaster

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ABERDEEN, S.D. What would you do if you saw someone in need who was severely bleeding? Sanford Aberdeen trauma surgeons hope to prepare the public for those situations with a "Stop the Bleed" course.

After the recent increase in mass shootings at schools and churches, teaching everyday people to save lives is becoming an issue at the top of mind for more and more people. This course was created by the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus aimed at preparing the public to respond in these types of situations.

The training is important for anyone to know because they're likely the first on scene at any type of accident. Without giving any assistance, victims can die from uncontrolled bleeding within a few minutes, so this course can help save a life.

It's the first time Aberdeen residents have had a chance to take a training class on how to control bleeding during a trauma. It's vital information, especially in the first 5-10 minutes before medical personnel are able to arrive.

The two free courses only took about an hour to complete.

"It gives them tools that they can do to stop life-threatening bleeding, either that with compression, application of a wound tourniquet or wound packing," Sanford Aberdeen Trauma Medical Director Jason Spjut said.

Today, attendees in Aberdeen learned the ABCs of bleeding.

"The 'A' is obviously you want to active the emergency personnel, call 911 if there's an event. The 'B' is bleeding. You gotta find the bleed, find the source of where it is and uncover the clothing, find out where they're actually bleeding from and then 'C' is compress, control the bleeding whether that's with direct compression, packing the wound or with a tourniquet," Spjut said.

Some participated in the course as a refresher, especially with properly learning how to use a tourniquet.

"How it's applied, how it's kept on and in place with a packing of a wound and keeping all of that in place until you do arrive to an emergency facility," Participant Gary Sperle said.

Trauma surgeons hope this course will encourage the public to step up in a time of need.

"Just like with doing CPR on somebody, this will actually give them a tool in an unlikely event be able to help out and hopefully save a life and that's the goal," Spjut said. '

Sanford Aberdeen trauma surgeons hope to bring the "Stop the Bleed" course to churches and schools around the region. If you're interested in learning more about the course in general, visit the link to the right of the article.