Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. In fact, blood loss is responsible for 35 percent of all pre-hospital deaths. In addition, 4 out of 5 victims of a mass casualty are delivered to the hospital by someone other than a trained EMT, first responder, or ambulance.
Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action that encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a life-threatening bleeding emergency. Launched in 2015 by the White House, Stop the Bleed helps community members act quickly to stop blood loss until trained professionals arrive on the scene.
Stop the Bleed helps bystanders to recognize serious, life-threatening bleeding situations and respond with action that minimizes blood loss until trained medical professionals can provide treatment.
Serious bleeding emergencies can be cause by household, sports- or work-related injuries; motor vehicle accidents; animal bites; incidents of violence; episodes of mass casualties; or other situations where deep, open wounds are present.
There are four key steps to stopping the bleed. They are:
Step 1: Ensure your own safety.
Make sure you are in a safe place to help. If, at any time, your safety is threatened, attempt to remove yourself (and the victim, if possible) from danger and find a safe location. Protect yourself from blood-borne infections by wearing gloves, if available.
Steps 2-4: Remember the ABCs of Bleeding.
- A – Alert – Call 911.
- B – Bleeding – Find the bleeding.
- C – Compress – Apply pressure. There are three ways to stop the bleeding:
- Cover the wound and applying pressure by pushing directly on it with both hands OR
- Use a tourniquet above the wound OR
- Pack (stuff) the wound with gauze or a clean cloth and then apply pressure with both hands.