Article

Stop the Bleed: What HCA Healthcare wants you to know in a bleeding emergency

A group of hospital workers and students
TriStar Skyline Medical Center trained and empowered students at Goodpasture Christian School on Stop The Bleed techniques.

A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes.

And, in just one hour, you can learn the basic skills needed to treat a life-threatening bleeding injury.

20 percent of people who have died from traumatic injuries could’ve survived with quick bleeding control.

Developed in the wake of rising mass casualty situations, Stop the Bleed is a national campaign focused on preventing victims from bleeding to death, which is the number one preventable cause of death after an injury. The campaign is an initiative of the American College of Surgeons, the Committee on Trauma, and the Hartford Consensus.

A graphic that says Stop the Bleed, Save a LifeFrom Las Vegas to Thousand Oaks to Aurora, HCA Healthcare communities have felt the pulse of mass shootings. With decades of experience in emergency operations, incident management teams at HCA Healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to crisis, working alongside strategizers at the corporate level.

And, civilians must also be armed to help one other in crisis. Skills taught in a Stop the Bleed class are a call to action and can help victims from bleeding to death while awaiting medical intervention.

“Anyone can benefit from the simple skills taught in the Stop the Bleed course as a patient can bleed to death prior to the arrival of an ambulance, under the best of circumstances,” said Dr. Jeffrey Guy, vice president of emergency, trauma and critical care services for HCA Healthcare.

Man in suit and tie. Headshot of Dr. Jeffrey Guy.

Dr. Jeffrey Guy, vice president of emergency, trauma and critical care services for HCA Healthcare

“First responders are those best capable of saving a life in these circumstances and HCA Healthcare’s goal in providing this program is to empower our communities with skills to stop the bleed, potentially saving the life of a friend, relative, or coworker until help arrives,” said Dr. Guy.

Stop the Bleed classes are offered by many HCA Healthcare facilities, teaching first responders and civilians alike how to care for people in traumatic events like shootings, car accidents, burns and other devastating circumstances.

A woman teaching a student how to care for a wound

The training is free and was created for everyone: law enforcement, first responders, security, teachers and other civilians. By teaching bystanders how to stabilize victims, HCA Healthcare aims to save lives in the communities that we serve.

Amongst healthcare systems across the United States, traumatic injury accounts for more than 41 million emergency department visits and 2 million hospital admissions each year. Trauma is the leading cause of death for individuals from 1 to 46 years of age. Traumatic injury affects schoolchildren, grandparents, our troops — no one is immune.

A woman standing in front of a room of people during a Stop the Bleed training event

Affiliate TriStar Skyline Medical Center participated in a Stop the Bleed training marathon in May 2019, commemorating the first ever National Stop the Bleed Month.

Hospital workers and TV newscasters stand behind a table during a segment about the Stop the Bleed campaign

Jessica Vickers, trauma program manager with HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake appears with local EMS partners and the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council on CW39 in Houston to spread Stop the Bleed campaign awareness.

HCA Healthcare encourages bystanders to be trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency. To find and register for a Stop the Bleed class near you, visit here.

Learn the A-B-C’s of bleeding control

Here are the A-B-C’s to Stop the Bleed, which will be expanded on and practiced in a Stop the Bleed class:

A – ALERT- Call 9-1-1

  • Get yourself and the injured person to safety
  • Call 911 or ask another person to make the call

B – BLEEDING – Find the source of bleeding

  • Open or remove the clothing over the wound so that you can clearly see it
  • Look for and identify “life-threatening” bleeding
    • Blood that is spurting out of the wound
    • Blood that won’t stop coming out of the wound
    • Blood that is pooling on the ground
    • Clothing/bandages that are soaked with blood
    • Loss of all or part of an arm or leg
    • Bleeding in a victim that is confused or unconscious

C – COMPRESS – Compress a bleeding vessel in order to stop the bleeding

*If you don’t have a trauma first aid kit

  • Apply firm, direct steady pressure on the wound with a clean cloth (e.g. shirt) by pushing on it directly with both hands
  • Continue to apply and hold pressure to stop bleeding until relieved by medical responders

*If you do have a trauma first aid kit

  • For life threatening injuries from an arm or leg and a tourniquet is available, apply a tourniquet
    • Wrap and tighten the tourniquet around the bleeding arm or leg about 2 to 3 inches above the bleeding site (do not place on a joint)
  • For life threatening injuries from an arm or leg and a tourniquet is NOT available OR bleeding from the neck, shoulder or groin:
  • Pack (stuff) the wound with a bleeding control (also called hemostatic) gauze, plain gauze, or a clean cloth and then apply pressure with both hands.
  • Push down firmly and hold pressure to stop bleeding until relieved by medical responders

Keep a Stop the Bleed Kit handy

Similar to having a first-aid kit or jumper cables in your car, you may want to keep a bleeding control kit there as well. Or in your office, classroom or even your purse. You can purchase Stop the Bleed’s official bleeding control kits in singles or larger units or assemble one of your own using the same high-quality products.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

Recent articles