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Stop the Bleed initiative launched at UMMS, UMass Memorial campuses in Worcester


UMMS and UMass Memorial have joined the Stop the Bleed initiative and will provide training and emergency supplies on campus in the event of an incident or accident that causes massive bleeding.

The American College of Surgeons Stop the Bleed initiative trains the general public to manage bleeding in an emergency situation until help from first responders arrives. The idea took shape shortly after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when a coalition of surgeons, medical organizations, government entities and others joined forces to “create a protocol for national policy to enhance survivability from active shooter and intentional mass casualty events.”

UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center have joined the Stop the Bleed initiative, announcing a new effort to raise awareness and provide training and emergency supplies on campus in the event of an incident or accident that causes massive bleeding.

Thirty Stop the Bleed kits are being installed across UMass Memorial’s three Worcester campuses and at UMass Medical School. The kits contain protective gloves, tourniquets, emergency bandages, gauze dressing and other necessary materials, along with simple instructions. While the kits are designed to be used by nonmedical professionals, UMMS and UMass Memorial are offering training classes for all members of the medical school and medical center community on how to safely and effectively respond to a bleeding emergency.

Training classes, which are free and open to the public, begin April 17 and will be held every two weeks through July, on Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m., in AS8-2702. Later, they will be held monthly. Training is completed in one class.

The training provides bystanders the skills and basic tools to stop uncontrolled bleeding in an emergency situation and save lives. The public can learn proper bleeding control techniques, including how to use their hands, dressings and tourniquets.

“Life-threatening emergencies can happen fast and emergency responders aren’t always nearby,” said M. George DeBusk, MD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery. “We want to encourage everyone to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.”

A person can die from blood loss in 2 to 5 minutes, so those nearest to someone with life-threatening injuries are best positioned to provide immediate care if they are equipped with the appropriate training and resources.

For information on training, call the Division of Trauma at 508-856-1168.