‘Stop the Bleed’ educates the public on applying life-saving tourniquets

SPOKANE, Wash. — As Capitol Hill works to protect the children of our nation through gun legislation, many are focusing their efforts on gaining personal skills that can offer life-saving measures.

When it comes to gun wounds, or any severe open wound injury, stopping the bleed is the best chance at saving a patient. In an effort to educate the general public on these life-saving skills, Providence offers a free program known as “Stop the Bleed” to empower the public.

The mechanics at Cal-Cars are more well-equipped to save a life than they were prior to going through this class. They’re learning the basics: from applying a tourniquet to stopping  bleeding, regardless of the incident.

“It’s a life skill that everyone needs to know,” said Denise McCurdy, Regional Nurse Manager for Trauma Services at Providence Healthcare.

A bleeding person can die within three minutes and the educators of Stop the Bleed say this is the difference between life and death.

“I have school-aged children, as many people do and I really felt hopeless about what I could do to help prevent these things. When we were taught this class, a light bulb went off and I thought, oh yeah. This is something I can do. This is something we can teach the general public. We may not be able to stop the shootings or the terrible things happening, but at least there is something we can teach the general public, about helping people when this happens,” said Leah Salmon-Conroy, a Trauma Nurse Coordinator.

The event started with a demonstration on how to handle an active shooter situation, and the basics of wound care, and then they got hands-on training on how to control wounds and apply a tourniquet.

“Unfortunately, the way our world is going with all the active shooter events, everyone needs to know how to do this. It’s a basic principle that anyone can do, even a child,” McCurdy said.

These skills are crucial in active shooter situations, but the benefits reach beyond these circumstances.

“I came up on a motorcycle accident just moments after. I got out, and grabbed my jump kit, my kit, had a tourniquet in it. He was bleeding profusely, his legs were laid open. We needed to stop the bleeding,” McCurdy said.

She was able to save that man’s life.

The program started back in 2017 with educating hospital staff, security guards and school faculty. Once COVID hit, things slowed down, but now they’re ready to get this program back out to the general public.

It’s a free program, available to any organization, business, or group that is interested. In light of recent events, the organizers tell us there is no better time.

If you’re interested, reach out to Denise McCurdy by email, at denise.mccurdy@providence.org,  or by phone, at 509-474-4924.