LETHBRIDGE - It's a course and awareness campaign in the U.S. that was born out of the multitudes of mass shootings each year, and encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help those bleeding to death from life-threatening injuries before paramedics arrive.
Now it will be offered in Lethbridge as well.
Called "Stop the Bleed," it will be held Wednesday, June 13 at Chinook Regional Hospital.
Trauma surgeon Dr. Harvey Hawes says while Canada doesn't often have to deal with mass shootings, other events occur where bystanders can help.
"In Canada we've had a few big mass events recently too, if you think about the bus crashes and things.This would be really useful for that as well."
Hawes says there are a number of options for patients once they get to the hospital. But if they don't have any blood left in them, there isn't much he can do to help.
"There's actually been a few cases in the past couple of years where I wish someone would have had pressure on a bleeding wound and the patient may have survived."
Trauma coordinator and CRH nurse Theresa Pasquotti says there are any number of instances where someone could suffer a life- threatening wound including sports events, hiking, biking, farming accidents, falling, or as a result of stab wounds and gunshots.
But both Pasquotti and Hawes admit that a life-threatening bleeding wound can frighten many people. A portion of the course also explains how people can deal with that fear.
"We know that it can be quite scary for average people to go out and push on bleeding things.. but the people teaching the course are all used to dealing with this."
They want to stress that, like CPR, once people learn what they can do, they're perfectly qualified to help others.
"Now that you have to tools and you understand what the steps are, and they're very easy steps, we think that'll make it easoer for people to actually go and help rather than just watch or look away."
There will also soon be special kits with equipment including a touriquet, gloves and gauze located next to defibillators in schools, offices, malls and sports facilities.
The course takes place from 2-4 p.m. and there is room for 32 participants.
Those interested must register by end of day Monday, June 11. To register, email [email protected]
Subsequent courses will be offered, but there will be a small fee for printed materials.
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