FREMONT, Neb. It comes out of nowhere. A deep cut, bad fall - or an accidental shooting. Now research shows one in five people who died from traumatic injuries could have survived if someone would have controlled their bleeding. In this month's Health Check, Serese Cole tells us about a campaign to teach us how.
When Fremont Fire Captain Tom Christensen gets a call - time matters.
"Our average response time here in city limits is about just under four minutes," said Christensen.
But an emergency with major blood loss, gets his blood pumping.
"(You) never know what's going to happen," Christensen said.
"Five minutes. That's all it takes for someone bleeding out of control to bleed out. That's why knowing how to respond - before paramedics arrive is so important," said Serese Cole.
That's what's behind a nationwide campaign.
It's called "Stop The Bleed"
The goal is to get bystanders to take action.
"We need to empower bystanders because they're typically the first person at the scene of an injury," said Brian Cunningham, M.D.
Brian Cunningham is Fremont Health's Emergency Room Medical Director. He says there are three simple steps.
First: Call 9-1-1.
Second: Make sure you and the person injured are safe.
Third: Locate the source of the bleeding - and stop it.
"If the site is very small, you can honestly just use your hands and put direct pressure on it. Larger areas you may need to use some sort or bandage," said Dr. Cunningham. "If that doesn't work something in your First Aid kit might - like a tourniquet."
Tom Christensen demonstrates how to apply it.
"As we put in on, we snug it down and we take the windless and we tighten it up," explained Christensen.
Even a cloth or towel will do.
"History has shown us that if nobody does anything - then people die," said Christensen.
Because when seconds matter, bystanders are often the difference between life and death.
Dr. Cunningham says "Stop the Bleed" is something just about anyone of us can do. All you need is a little education and your hands.
For more information go to https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed.