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What is ‘Stop the Bleed?’

Saving lives with bleeding control training and education

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By EMS1 Staff

STOP THE BLEED® is a national public health campaign initiated by the White House in 2015 as part of a federal effort to enhance public health and safety.

The campaign was developed in response to increasing concerns over deaths from traumatic bleeding in emergencies, including mass shootings and natural disasters.

Many lives that have been lost from traumatic bleeding could have been saved if someone at the scene knew how to stop the bleeding before professional help arrived.

The STOP THE BLEED® campaign’s primary goal is to save lives by educating and training the public and first responders in bleeding control techniques, aiming to improve survival rates in situations where severe bleeding occurs.

The campaign is also spreading around the world with activity in over 140 countries.

What equipment should be included in a Stop the Bleed kit?

A Stop the Bleed kit typically contains:

  • Tourniquets
  • Hemostatic dressings (dressings that promote clotting)
  • Compression bandages
  • Protective gloves
  • Chest seals
  • Scissors (for cutting clothing or dressings if necessary)
  • A marker for logging the time the tourniquet was applied

These items provide the essentials needed to implement the techniques taught in Stop the Bleed training effectively.

Stop the Bleed kits
Two identical Stop The Bleed modules come in a compact kit that fits into most existing AED cabinets.
Contains a chest seal, tourniquet, bandage, gauze, gloves, shears, marker and instructions.
Includes a military-style combat tourniquet, compressed gauze bandages and a chest seal.
Comes with a tourniquet, an Israeli pressure bandage, 2 compression gauze, a mylar survival blanket, shears, gloves, a permanent marker and 3 antiseptic wipes.
Includes a tourniquet, compressed gauze, trauma dressing, gloves (latex and powder free), trauma shears, a survival blanket and a permanent marker.
8 individual IFAKs each contain the essential tools to address severe bleeding. QuikLitters are also included.

Why is Stop the Bleed important for first responders?

For first responders, controlling severe bleeding is often critical to saving lives in pre-hospital settings. Uncontrolled hemorrhage is a leading cause of preventable death in trauma situations. “Stop the Bleed” equips first responders with the necessary skills and knowledge to act quickly and effectively, potentially stabilizing patients until further medical treatment can be administered.

What are the primary techniques recommended by “Stop the Bleed”?

The campaign emphasizes three main techniques for bleeding control:

  • Direct pressure. Applying pressure directly to the wound to stop bleeding.
  • Wound packing. Filling the wound with a hemostatic dressing or clean cloth, then applying pressure to control bleeding.
  • Tourniquets. Using a tourniquet to constrict blood flow to a limb in cases where direct pressure is not sufficient.

What training opportunities are available for “Stop the Bleed”?

Stop the Bleed training is widely accessible through various programs, often provided by hospitals, fire departments and community centers. These programs teach the techniques of bleeding control, and many are free or low-cost. Online resources and local health services can guide first responders to the nearest training sessions, further enhancing their capabilities in emergency scenarios.

What is Stop the Bleed Day?

Every year, the STOP THE BLEED® Project develops a variety of programs to accomplish its mission, starting with Stop the Bleed Day, now in its seventh year.

Stop the Bleed Day takes place each year during EMS Week. This year, Stop the Bleed Day is on May 23, 2024. Stop the Bleed Day is a day to bring awareness to bleeding control training and educate the public on how to stop the bleed.

This Project’s slate of programs includes:

The STB Grant Program, which has awarded over $250,000 in equipment grants. The application period for both the grant and scholarship programs will open during the first week of April and will run until May 31, 2024.

The Scholarship Program, available to high school and college students, which has awarded over $175,000 to date.

The #raiseyourhand campaign, encouraging people across social media to share why they decided to raise their hand to get STOP THE BLEED® trained.

How does Stop the Bleed integrate with other first aid practices?

Stop the Bleed techniques are designed to complement standard first aid practices, not replace them. These hemorrhage control techniques are critical in the initial moments of an emergency, functioning seamlessly alongside CPR, shock management, and other first aid protocols. This integrated approach ensures a comprehensive response to a range of emergency health situations.

Learn more about Stop the Bleed

The “Stop the Bleed” campaign is an essential initiative for enhancing public and first responder readiness in emergencies involving severe bleeding. By educating individuals on effective hemorrhage control techniques and providing necessary tools and training, the campaign aims to save lives and mitigate the effects of traumatic injuries.

Visit the Stop the Bleed Resource Hub to access a variety of ways for you to learn more about how to Stop the Bleed.

EMS1 is using generative AI to create some content that is edited and fact-checked by our editors.