'Stop the Bleed' training can help people save lives during emer - KPTV - FOX 12

'Stop the Bleed' training can help people save lives during emergencies

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A local doctor tells FOX 12 that the most preventable way trauma patients die is from bleeding out. Now, the surgeon says, enough is enough. He thinks everyone needs to know how to help a victim before the professionals arrive.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before we see something major in Portland. That could be human related, whether it’s a shooter or explosion or even natural such as an earthquake. It’s only a matter of time and we have to be ready,” said Dr. Martin Schreiber at OHSU.

Doctors at OHSU said a person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five short minutes. No matter how fast first-responders arrive, bystanders will always be first on the scene. 

That’s why doctors are pushing a national campaign called “Stop the Bleed.” It’s meant to train anyone to be ready to help in a trauma emergency.

“The critical period of time is the minutes after an injury, that’s when we can make a difference,” said Schreiber.

Schreiber is the chief of trauma at OHSU. He tells FOX 12 he’s been deployed overseas three times. Out in the field, he’s saved hundreds of lives.

“I’ve seen some horrendous injuries, high power injuries, massive casualties. Our greatest ability to make a difference is to train the public to stop the bleeding right away. I think it’s the most important thing we’re doing right now,” said Schreiber.

And that, is his new mission.

“This type of training may have saved some of the people on the max. It’s really up to the people of Portland to make this happen,” said Schreiber.

Dr. Schreiber says just like CPR, everyone needs to know how to stop someone from bleeding to death.

“Stop the bleeding. That’s how you save the persons life,” said Schreiber.

Schreiber showed FOX 12 the simple steps. He said the first thing people should do, after calling 911, is pack the wound as deeply and tightly as they can. If they don’t have gauze, use a shirt, a rag - anything will help. 

“This might hurt the person, but you’re saving their life,” said Schreiber.

Schreiber said once they can’t pack the wound any more, apply as much pressure as they can, using all of their body weight.

If the injury is on the legs or arms and the bleeding hasn’t stopped, Schreiber says people need a proper tourniquet.

“The truth of the matter is things like belts, clothes…these are not effective,” said Schreiber.

Unfortunately those make-shift tourniquets don’t work, in fact, Schreiber said sometimes they can make the bleeding worse.

FOX 12 crews asked a woman outside of OHSU if she knew what to do with a trauma patient.

“If you came to a scene where a person had been shot, would you know what to do to help them?” asked reporter Bonnie Silkman.

“Um, maybe? Try to like stop the bleeding…I don’t really know,” the woman said.

But Schreiber says those precious seconds after someone is shot or wounded are critical.

Schreiber calls it ‘The Golden Hour.’ He said whoever is closest to the victim needs to act fast.

“That’s the time where people die, where they’re waiting for help to come. But if you’ve managed to stop the bleeding, you’ve probably saved that person’s life,” said Schreiber.

The team of surgeons at OHSU said everyone should have a tourniquet and gauze in their car and at their home. Those supplies can be bought online at https://controlbleedingkits.com/

Anyone who would like to get hands-on training, the next class is Saturday Nov. 11. For more information visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-the-bleed-tickets-36371876261

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