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Stop the Bleed Day: Basic Actions Can Stop Life-Threatening Bleeding, Help Bystanders Save Lives
Mar 28, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Bleeding is the leading cause of preventable trauma-related death in the United States. Basic steps that anyone can learn could help save a victim’s life in the critical moments immediately after a disaster or emergency.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is proud to partner with local emergency care experts for Stop the Bleed Day on March 31, 2018. The day is part of Stop the Bleed, an ongoing national campaign initiated by a federal working group convened by the National Security Council staff and the White House. The campaign’s goal is to equip the general public with the tools and knowledge to become immediate responders and help stop life-threatening bleeding. On Stop the Bleed Day, many of the 16,000 registered instructors will participate in a grassroots effort by leading free courses across the country.   

“Taking immediate action to prevent a friend, loved one or stranger from losing blood during an emergency can save that person’s life,” said Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP, president of ACEP. “Stop the Bleed Day is part of an important initiative that empowers bystanders with a few basic techniques to stop or slow life-threatening bleeding and offer critical support until trained medical help arrives.”

In addition to free courses in select locations nationwide, the campaign encourages the widespread availability of bleeding control kits in easily accessible public locations such as businesses, schools, airports and other public buildings. Kits can contain items such as gauze, tourniquets and other wound treatment items.

Stop the Bleed training will teach people to identify nearby tools that can be used to control bleeding, correctly apply a tourniquet to an injured limb, keep a victim calm and other techniques. Participants will learn that after ensuring their own safety, anyone can start the “ABCs of Bleeding Injuries”:

(A)lert. Get help by calling 911 yourself or telling somebody to call 911. 

(B)leeding. Find the bleeding injury. Open or remove clothing over the wound to see it clearly. Look for and identify “life-threatening” bleeding.

(C)ompress. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding by:

1. Covering the wound with a clean cloth and applying pressure by pushing directly on it with both hands, OR;

2. Using a tourniquet, OR;

3. Packing (stuffing) the wound with gauze or a clean cloth and then applying pressure with both hands.

Stop the Bleed was launched in October 2015 after the Sandy Hook mass shooting as a national preparedness initiative to teach the general public some of the life-saving techniques that members of the military and emergency responders rely upon.

Click here to find a course in your area. If you do not see a bleeding control course listed in your area, contact your local Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services agency, or the community outreach department at your local hospital.

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ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.