This blog post is not a discussion of soft targets or hard targets. It is not a discussion on arming teachers or hiring more officers in schools. This is about saving lives. When a mass shooting occurs or someone is injured by a firearm, STOP THE BLEEDING.
“Stop the bleeding” is not a slogan or a jingle. It’s a vital part of what happens after an attack or accident in which people’s lives are in danger. It doesn’t matter whether or not you carry a weapon. With just a little training, every single one of us can save a life.
When the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred in 2012, 20 children and 6 adults died. If there were people on the scene who were trained in the use of a tourniquet, how many lives could have been saved?
A major injury to the arms or legs can cause someone to die within minutes. A simple tourniquet applied in a reasonable time frame can save lives. And the best part is that it’s so easy to learn even a child can do it with proper training. Seriously. The application of a tourniquet doesn’t take extensive training or a medical degree. All it takes is the availability of a tourniquet and the desire to save a life.
In an article recently published by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, a Texas Tourniquet Study Group evaluated 1,026 patients with vascular injuries of the arms or legs who were admitted to 11 urban Level I trauma centers in Texas from 2011 to 2016. After multivariable analysis, the non-tourniquet group had almost six times greater odds of death than the group of patients who received a tourniquet. Yes, you read that right. Applying a tourniquet could increase the odds of living by that much.
Stopping the bleeding can be the key to saving lives. Most schools have AEDs readily available in case a child or someone at the school has a heart attack. But for the vast majority of schools in the United States, no one has easy access to tourniquets and supplies to stop the bleeding when a traumatic injury occurs.
We all should be advocates of bleeding control training: those who carry a weapon, those who do not, teachers, administrators and students. Write to your school board about why it’s so important that they provide teachers and students the knowledge they need during an emergency situation.
Everyone should be trained in stopping blood loss, similar to how so many of us have taken a CPR course. Start by inquiring with a Red Cross location or local fire department to find out if they have a bleeding control course. You could also look for an instructor who teaches tactical casualty combat care – or TCCC – on ShootingClasses.com.
I’m passionate about this subject, and I know that together we can make a difference. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together there is nothing we cannot achieve.
Remember: The next life you save just might be your own.