July 2017

UMC Provides Life-Saving Education with ‘Stop the Bleed’ Campaign

By Scott Kerbs, UMC Physician Experience Coordinator


When life-threatening bleeding occurs, mere seconds can mean the difference between life and death. In many cases, friends, colleagues and other bystanders must take steps to save an injured person’s life before emergency medical personnel arrive on the scene.

Recognizing the importance of educating the public, and training large groups of people to quickly and appropriately treat bleeds, the UMC Trauma Center is now part of a national campaign designed to save lives through valuable education. As part of the national ‘Stop the Bleed’ Campaign, UMC Trauma surgeons offer complimentary training courses for local organizations in an effort to provide individuals with the skills needed to stop life-threatening bleeding.

“This program empowers the public to learn some very basic techniques to stop bleeding in the field,” said UMC Trauma Surgeon Dr. Paul Chestovich. “The techniques are not difficult to learn, but in the right setting, they could be life-saving.”

During the one-hour training course, medical professionals provide detailed instructions for applying pressure to a wound, packing a wound and applying a tourniquet. In addition to a lecture and question-and-answer sessions, each course includes hands-on activities during which participants practice on fake limbs replicating gunshot and stab wounds.

Dr. Douglas Fraser, Vice Chief of Trauma at UMC, regularly sees individuals who die as a result of blood loss. Many of these deaths are preventable, he notes, but far too many community members simply lack the training and tools required to address a severe bleed while emergency responders are en route.

Dr. Fraser, a former firefighter and paramedic, said his experiences with these types of injuries motivated him to join the ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign and work toward building a large group of community members who are prepared to save lives.

“Our goal is to train everyone we possibly can, including security personnel, construction workers, teachers, Uber drivers, hotel housekeeping staff and many others,” he said. “If we properly train every housekeeping employee at a hotel, we have an army of individuals with the ability to stop a life-threatening bleed.”

Dr. Fraser and his colleagues recently conducted a training session for more than 60 members of Red Rock Search & Rescue, providing detailed information to a group of people who frequently encounter injured community members and visitors.

“Having access to this type of training better prepares our team for serving the community,” said Lory Hayon, Wellness Coordinator for Red Rock Search & Rescue.

The course included hands-on training focused on the proper application of a tourniquet, a simple tool that plays a valuable role in stopping the flow of blood from extremities. Dr. Fraser said he frequently sees lives saved by tourniquets, and he encourages individuals and businesses to consider purchasing these low-cost first-aid tools.

“Purchasing a tourniquet is just like having a fire extinguisher in your home,” he explains. “It’s something you hope to never use, but when the time comes, it can save a person’s life.”

While tourniquets serve as valuable tools for any home or business, Dr. Fraser said they are especially important for construction jobsites and workplaces with heavy machinery.

“The expense associated with purchasing tourniquets is minimal when you compare it to losing an employee,” he said, also encouraging businesses to contact UMC to schedule complimentary ‘Stop the Bleed’ training sessions.

Following the training, each participant receives a certificate from the American College of Surgeons. Certified individuals can conduct their own training sessions, further spreading this valuable knowledge throughout the community. UMC has certified a number of team members in an effort to maximize the impact of the ‘Stop the Bleed’ Campaign.

Dr. Chestovich advises all community members to learn the life-saving skills offered through the ‘Stop the Bleed’ training sessions.

“You never know when you’re going to be in a situation where you can make a difference,” he says. “You could intervene and potentially save that person’s life. It could even be a family member or a close friend.”

In addition to the ‘Stop the Bleed’ training sessions, the UMC Trauma Center also recently hosted a lecture from Dr. Gary Parrish, the attending emergency room physician on duty at Orlando General Hospital during the Pulse Nightclub terrorist attack in 2016. Designed for EMS professionals and emergency department physicians and nurses, the lecture offered information about the steps these professionals can take to prepare for mass casualty incidents.

While it can be difficult to think about these types of tragic mass casualty scenarios, Dr. Fraser and his colleagues want the community to be prepared, trained, and ready to save lives.

“It’s not enough to call 9-1-1 and simply wait for help to arrive,” Dr. Fraser says. “At the UMC Trauma Center, our team is committed to helping our fellow community members gain the skills required to keep patients alive while help is on the way.”

To schedule a complimentary ‘Stop the Bleed’ training session for your organization, please contact


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