As our American Heart Association (AHA) First Aid training teaches, there are two types of bleeding: controllable and uncontrollable. A Stop the Bleeding training was an initiative implemented by the White House in 2015 to teach life-saving techniques used by the military and emergency personnel in providing instruction to the public. The Stop the Bleeding kits contain dressings and a tourniquet to be used on someone with uncontrollable bleeding. There are various steps involved in the Stop the Bleeding training but the basic steps include calling 911, determining where the bleeding is coming from and then applying direct pressure or a tourniquet. Unfortunately, anyone who experiences uncontrolled bleeding is at risk for dying if the problem is not addressed immediately with 35% of pre-hospital deaths originating from uncontrollable bleeding according to the Stop the Bleeding Coalition.
Again, the ABC's of uncontrollable bleeding are the following:
A – Alert – call 911
B – Bleeding – find the bleeding injury
C – Compress – apply pressure to stop the bleeding by: Covering the wound with a clean cloth and applying pressure by pushing directly on it with both hands, or using a tourniquet, or packing (filling) the wound with gauze or a clean cloth and then applying pressure with both hands.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.