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Geisinger trauma services trains 10,000 to Stop the Bleed

DANVILLE, Pa. – Since January 2017, Geisinger trauma services has trained 10,031 people in central and northeastern Pennsylvania through the national Stop the Bleed program. Now, Geisinger is providing more than 2,300 bleeding control kits to further arm first responders and residents in the battle against blood loss.

Severe bleeding is a common cause of death during emergency situations and traumatic incidents, according to the National Trauma Institute. To assist in saving lives by controlling or stopping blood loss, Geisinger is distributing 2,387 bleeding control kits to first responders and community partners. This includes 277 wall-mounted bleeding control stations, comprised of eight individual bleed control kits each, and 177 individual bleeding control kits. Geisinger is also distributing 166 individual tourniquets to local law enforcement agencies.

These bleeding control stations will be placed in public locations including airports, churches, schools and community recreation centers and pools. The individual kits are being provided to emergency responders, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and community groups. Funding for the kits is through a partnership with North American Rescue and numerous grants and donations.

Many of the emergency service providers and organizations receiving the bleeding control kits and tourniquets have undergone Geisinger’s Stop the Bleed training or have trainings scheduled. 

The bleeding control kits contain plastic gloves, gauze, tourniquets and easy-to-follow instructions. They’re designed to be used by anyone to help control bleeding during a traumatic incident. According to the National Trauma Institute, 35 percent of fatalities occur due to blood loss before victims arrive at a hospital.

“Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death in someone who is injured,” said Dr. Brian Frank, trauma surgeon and co-chair of Geisinger’s Stop the Bleed program. “A person can bleed to death from an arterial bleed in 3 to 5 minutes. Being able to control or stop blood loss greatly increases a victim’s survival chances.”

The Stop the Bleed program was launched as a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security, the White House and other agencies. Stop the Bleed trains ordinary citizens – and potential bystanders – how to help during a severe-bleeding incident before medical and emergency professionals arrive on scene. 

Geisinger has also developed an app to help walk anyone through the steps of controlling or stopping bleeding. Called Bleed Stop, the app is available for download in Google Play or the Apple store. It includes step-by-step instructions to help guide someone through using a bleed control kit, or what to do to control blood loss if a kit isn’t available. 

“No one expects to be involved in a traumatic incident,” said Dr. Denise Torres, trauma services director for Geisinger. “Trauma from vehicle crashes, industrial accidents and deep cuts or wounds at home are far more common than trauma from violent acts. Being able to recognize traumatic bleeding and controlling or slowing blood loss until emergency crews arrive is critical.”

Geisinger trauma services offers free Stop the Bleed classes to organizations throughout the year. Geisinger’s Stop the Bleed program is a joint effort of emergency medicine, trauma services, trauma outreach coordinators, Life Flight and Geisinger EMS.

“A patient who makes it to a trauma center has a 96 percent survival rate,” Dr. Torres said. “Having the tools, like the bleeding control kits, and basic first-aid knowledge are the first steps in someone surviving a traumatic incident.”

In Pennsylvania, Geisinger has four designated trauma centers. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville is central Pennsylvania’s only Level I trauma center, the highest level of trauma center certification possible. Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, Geisinger Holy Spirit in Camp Hill and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre are Level II trauma centers. Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, the region’s only children’s hospital, is a Level II pediatric trauma program.

In July, Geisinger Medical Center opened its Trauma Intensive Care Unit (TICU), where trauma victims receive specialized care and monitoring. 

To learn more about Stop the Bleed, contact Geisinger at stopthebleed@geisinger.edu.

 

About Geisinger
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Deb Erdman and John Harahus show off a bleeding control kit
Geisinger trauma education coordinator Deb Erdman and Geisinger Life Flight flight nurse John Harahus show off a bleeding control station.

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Marc Stempka
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mstempka@geisinger.edu