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NEWS | Nov. 7, 2019

Stop the Bleed

By Kristi Britt, Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs Specialist

Imagine this scenario: you’re on the way to work and suddenly you feel a jolt. CRASH! A vehicle accident just occurred. You assess the situation and make eye contact with the driver who collided with you. They’re bleeding from the head and drifting from consciousness. What would you do?

   This situation, and similar instances like it, happens daily around the world. It could be traffic accidents, injury during inclement weather, even an active shooter scenario. Someone is suffering from a bleeding wound and time is running out to treat it. Unfortunately, there are many who are unsure how to respond in that moment.

   According to the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death in the world. Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Fire Marshal (Code 1128) Shane Byrne wants to change that. 

   “We never want these sorts of events to happen; however, we want to ensure our employees have the tools they need and the training available so if it ever does happen, they will be prepared,” said Byrne. With Byrne and his team, as well as the support of emergency response in the area and the Central Virginia Coalition, NNSY is taking the steps to bring Stop the Bleed training to America’s Shipyard.

   Launched in 2015, this national awareness campaign and call to action provides those with the ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding in someone who is injured and effectively assist that person in saving a life. Those trained in Stop the Bleed are able to become an integral part of the trauma care chain of survival, their immediate reaction possibly the difference between life and death for those in a traumatic event.

   This hands-on training provides the employee a chance to utilize the tools necessary in bleeding control, including QuikClot and various types of tourniquets. In addition, it also provides the employee an understanding of when it’s safe to provide assistance and what procedures to follow.

   “This is an important initiative for our team, since many of us have worked as emergency responders and have seen these events firsthand,” said Byrne. “Being able to train the public in how to reach in an emergency situation could truly turn the tide for someone. It all depends on what you know and how you react. With Stop the Bleed, we’re able to give everyone the tools they need to react appropriately.”

   In addition to the Stop the Bleed training, NNSY is working on purchasing Stop the Bleed kits that will be distributed across the shipyard at the various automated external defibrillator (AED) locations. The kits include first aid response tools, including Quick Clot and tourniquets.

   “NNSY is leading the charge for this training to be offered in the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) enterprise,” said Byrne. “We are not only bringing the training to the shipyard, we’re also providing the skills necessary for those here to also become train-the-trainers as well. So we can effectively continue the Stop the Bleed initiative to our shipyard family and beyond.”

   For more information, visit bleedingcontrol.org.


To Help Stop the Bleed, Follow the ABCs:

ALERT: Before you do anything, alert the authorities and call 911. Ideally, you are in a situation where you can tell someone to call. You should also make sure the situation is safe before helping the injured.

BLEEDING: After calling 911 and making sure the area is safe, identify the location of the bleeding and whether it is life-threatening. The location of the injury affects how it should be treated. In some cases, you should remove clothing over the injury to have a better view. If blood is spurting or pooling, the injury is life-threatening. The blood is pooling if it keeps coming back after it is soaked up. An injury in the abdomen is automatically life-threatening because there could be internal bleeding. If there is a loss of limb or the person is confused, that also is a life-threatening injury.

COMPRESSION: Depending on whether the bleeding comes from a joint, limb, or the abdomen, you can use different techniques to stop the bleeding. In a joint or abdomen area, you should pack the wound with gauze or cloth from the individual's clothing until it is level with the skin. Then you should apply direct pressure on the area. If you do not have clean cloth available, use a dirty cloth. For injuries on the limb, use a tourniquet. You can find a tourniquet in many first aid kits. It includes a strap that you snug around the limb two inches above the injury. You then place a stick inside of a loop and turn it until it is no longer turned and blocks off the blood. Make sure you document what time you put the tourniquet on. In some instances, you may need two tourniquets and a dressing to stop bleeding. A homemade tourniquet is not recommended because in most cases it is ineffective. In all instances, do not stop holding pressure or check if the individual is done bleeding until the paramedics arrive. You should never remove dressings from the injury. Instead you should just add a dressing over the already present dressing.