A collaboration between the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health has helped provide 35 Richmond Public Schools with Bleeding Control (BCON) equipment through the national Stop the Bleed campaign.
Statistics show that uncontrolled bleeding is responsible for 40 percent of deaths within the first 24 hours of an incident, and the ability to stop blood loss is crucial to saving the life of victims.
“A trained person on site can make a lifesaving difference,” Michel Aboutanos, M.D., medical director of the VCU Trauma Center, said. “As the only Level 1 trauma center in central Virginia, we know how critical it is to control bleeding quickly. A person can die from blood loss within minutes without care.”
The kits will contain tourniquets, bandages and specially treated gauze dressings to help control bleeding wounds during an emergency. Additionally, all RPS nurses and security staff were trained by instructors on how to properly use the Stop the Bleed BCON equipment.
“All too often, victims of active shooter or mass-casualty incidents bleed to death waiting for medical treatment,” Chip Decker, CEO of the RAA, said. “Responses to save victims have to be immediate, fully orchestrated and ready to go. This equipment and the associated training is clearly the way to go”.
The equipment, valued at $22,000, is a step towards increased safety of RPS students and faculty.
“The proactive thinking to create these kits as well as train all of our health services and security teams can make a life-saving difference in an emergency situation,” RPS Interim Superintendent Thomas Kranz said. “The safety of our students and staff is a number one priority, so these kits will allow us to be even more prepared to quickly respond should an incident or severe injury occur.”
The Stop the Bleed campaign was launched in 2015 as a way to educate the public on life-saving techniques that could be used during an emergency, such as a mass shooting. Since the 1999 mass casualty incident at Columbine High School in Colorado, more than 300 people have been killed during active shooter situations. The belief is that those already on the scene can best help and save victims if they know what to do, rather than waiting around for trained first responders to arrive once the danger has passed.