Stop the Bleed

A host of medical staff and administration members, including Georgia College nursing students, pose for a photograph in front of Air Evac helicopter that has a partnership with Navicent Health Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville. The group participated in two-days of training  for Stop the Bleed last week.

The Stop the Bleed program is all about saving lives.

Suppose there was an active shooter situation in Milledgeville and Baldwin County.

Would you know what to do to keep some of the injured alive?

That is why the Stop the Bleed program is being introduced to local groups.

The Stop the Bleed campaign was initiated by a federal interagency convened by the National Security Council staff and the White House.

“We’re basically just trying to prepare communities to deal with something like this if it ever happens,” said Kristal Smith of Stop the Bleed Georgia. 

She oversaw a two-day training last week with members of the medical staff at Navicent Health Baldwin hospital. “But it’s common sense information that anybody can use — anytime they are facing a bleeding emergency.”

The first thought that comes to mind is to avoid being hurt, Smith said.

“So, there’s three main strategies that are kind of championed with avoiding getting hurt, she pointed out. “Runaway, hide, barricade yourself, and the other thing, literally, if you can’t do one of those things, is be prepared to defend yourself.”

The Stop the Bleed program really doesn’t come into effect until people are in a safe zone or in a safe area barricaded with friends.

“At that time, you could think about caring for your neighbors or friends,” Smith said. “If you think about the Las Vegas shooting, for example, that was very much a successful show of Good Samaritans at work — even though it was a very tragic event because only 15 people died while 500 people were injured.”

There could have been a larger loss of life, she said.

The reason there weren’t more deaths was that there were neighbors helping neighbors, Smith said.

“And that’s what this program prepares you to do,” Smith said. “It empowers and educates Good Samaritans.”

Asked how important it is for the staff of the local hospital and nursing students from Georgia College to be trained about such a program, Smith quickly responded.

“Well, to be honest, a lot of staff members already know a lot of these techniques, but this serves as a refresher kind of class for many of them,” Smith said. “When we’re out in the public, no matter what our medical backgrounds are, we’re still average Joes or average Josephines. We have to be prepared to act even when we’re outside these walls. Inside of these walls, it prepares us to act as well.”

Georgia has actively trained people throughout many communities about the “Stop the Bleed” program.

“This creates even more champions,” said Smith, who actually works with Trauma Services Navicent Health in Macon. “Many people who aren’t clinical in the hospital are now empowered to take this to their churches, and their schools. So, once they’ve had the training they can then can be eligible to become instructors and carry the message forward. It’s like practicing what you preach. If we’re going to champion this in the community, then we have to champion this at home, first.”

She said it’s very important to be prepared for an emergency, but at the same time, it’s also important for those involved in such emergency situations to be what she described as the “tip of the sphere.”’

Smith said as a health care facility that it is important to model what it would like to see from within the community.

“So, if we show that we value this education, we hope that more people will want to value it, too,” Smith said.

Last week’s training at Navicent Health Baldwin marked the first time the Stop the Bleed program has been conducted at the hospital.

“We’re kind of getting our infrastructure created so that we can grow it, so we’re trying to get as many trained as possible,” Smith said. 

On the first day, 115 people went through the training session. More than 100 others attended the second day.

“And as you can see, we have people here from facilities, our environmental services staff, and our administrative staff,” Smith said. “It doesn’t matter what role you play in the community, we want you prepared.”

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