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Grafton Rescue offers free class on how to stop life-threatening bleeding

Advance registration is required by emailing graftonfire@vermontel.net or calling 802-843-2401 and leaving a message with your contact information.

GRAFTON—For the past few years, a national program known as “Stop The Bleed” (stopthebleedingcoalition.org) has been working to inform and educate people about how to take life saving action when they are at the scene of an injury involving severe bleeding.

Traumatic injuries involving uncontrolled hemorrhaging of blood are the second leading cause of death for those under 45. Evidence suggests that 50 percent of those deaths that are due to external bleeding could be preventable with appropriate action at the time of the injury.

Since it is unlikely a fully-trained EMS Responder would be present quickly enough, it’s critical for a bystander with some limited training to step in and make the difference until EMS arrives.

Grafton Rescue is providing the opportunity to learn the basic skills to control traumatic bleeding in a special “Stop The Bleed” class on Tuesday, March 13, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Grafton Elementary School. This class is available at no cost, but it’s limited to 40 people, so advance registration is a must.

In a news release, Dave Ross of Grafton Rescue said that there are a few basic steps that nearly anyone can learn in order to “stop the bleed” and as a bystander provide immediate lifesaving care.

These steps have primarily come out of the experience the military has had dealing with traumatic injuries, and include the revived use of the tourniquet, along with more easily-applied devices such as special compresses and blood stopping hemostatic substances.

While the focus of Stop the Bleed has been on mass casualty shooting events, Ross said there are many people in this region who work at occupations with a high risk of traumatic injury, such as farming, logging, construction, or property maintenance.

Add to that, Ross said, all the others who have hobbies or are engaged in home maintenance projects using power tools or heavy equipment.

Then add in people participating in outdoor activities like dirt-biking, skiing, hunting, snowmobiling, or riding ATV’s.

“Clearly a lot of people in their everyday activities could be a bystander, or even find themselves directly experiencing a serious bleeding injury,” Ross said.

The class will be conducted by professional trainers from the Community-911-Training group and will include hands-on training with tourniquets, pressure compresses, and hemostatic agents using simulators allowing participants to experience what it is like to deal with uncontrolled bleeding.

An additional feature is that, courtesy of a subsidy from the Windham Foundation, graduates of the class will be able to acquire a kit with a tourniquet, pressure bandage, gloves, and hemostatic gauze for half the actual cost.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #448 (Wednesday, February 28, 2018).

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