Working together to help Stop the Bleed

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign to save lives, and thanks to a donation from the Western Region of the Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition (HERC) they move their mission to La Crosse.

The campaign now supplies Bleeding Control Tool Kits to area emergency services, from Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance to the La Crosse Fire Department.

Kits include lifesaving tools meant for traumatic injuries causing large amounts of bleeding, such as tourniquets, gauze, trauma shears, gloves and more. Currently, every fire engine in La Crosse is equipped with a kit, as well as every Tri-State ambulance. 

The campaign next aims to educate the public in using the kits in emergency situations, because with traumatic injury every second counts.

"Bleeding happens fast in some cases and people can die, and with some of the basic equipment that is in these kits, you have tourniquets, you have some bandaging supplies, you have things that seal up wounds," Captain Jim Hillcoat of the La Crosse Fire Department elaborates.

"These are things that buy us time to get these patients, or these victims, the definitive care that they are going to get as they enter the EMS system and end up in the hospital," Hillcoat adds. 

Training is available for any member of the public through the national Stop the Bleed campaign. The education aims to train community members so they know how to use the kits if they come upon an incident where someone is badly bleeding before emergency services arrive.

"We aren’t always going to be able to get there on time," Emergency Medical Technician with Gundersen Health System Brittney Trybula explains, "if there’s a major bleed a person can bleed out in about five minutes, so community members are going to be the ones that are the first ones there, like all the bystanders that are on-scene." 

To schedule a training session and obtain a kit for yourself, a group or organization, contact Gundersen Health System’s trauma services at (608) 775-4204 or at (608) 775-3054.

Those interested may also visit Stop the Bleed’s website to find a class nearby.

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