PITTSBURGH, Aug. 24. 2016 – UPMC, Pennsylvania’s largest trauma system, is committing $1.3 million over three years for a community outreach program that will teach adult residents, school students and staff, first-arriving responders, including law enforcement officers and firefighters throughout the region, basic first aid for victims of severe blood loss from injuries such as gunshot wounds, mass casualty incidents, motor vehicle accidents and other traumatic events.
“Stop the Bleed” is coordinated through the Copeland Regional Trauma Council (CRTC), a consortium named for the late Charles E. Copeland, M.D., a UPMC trauma surgeon and founder of the UPMC Mercy Burn Center. The CRTC includes the five UPMC trauma centers and seven other trauma centers in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle.
UPMC is leading the tri-state initiative as part of the Stop the Bleed
campaign announced by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security in November 2015. The program’s main focus is to train bystanders to assist people who have an active bleeding site as a result of injury. Participants are trained by UPMC and CRTC trauma physicians, nurses and Emergency Medical Service personnel during a two-hour course
that teaches basic hemorrhage-control techniques, such as direct pressure to control bleeding and tourniquet application that greatly improve the chance of survival.
“Anyone can save a life. People just need to have a little background in what to do. Stop the Bleed gives them the basic training to assist a person who would likely die if immediate professional help is not available,” said CRTC founder Andrew Peitzman, M.D., UPMC vice president for Trauma and Surgical Services and Mark M. Ravitch Professor of Surgery and vice chairman at the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to the training, UPMC is providing “bleeding” kits for public spaces and businesses in the community, similar to Automatic External Defibrillators used for cardiac arrest patients. The kits contain special blood clotting gel, gauze and tourniquets.
The kits can be used to stem bleeding in the extremities, groin, neck or armpit until paramedics arrive.
“UPMC is committed to the health and welfare of the community, including care outside of the hospital. Bystanders can become immediate responders when they least expect it. We want people to have access to the training and the tools to help someone in need,” said Steven D. Shapiro, M.D.
, executive vice president, chief medical and scientific officer, and president, Health Services Division, UPMC. “With a collaboration of this size, we are hoping to reach as many people as possible.”
The public events are free but do require registration. For information about the Stop the Bleed program, please visit STOPTHEBLEEDTODAY.com.