Recent mass shootings like those at the Las Vegas outdoor concert and a Texas church lead Barb Smith, RN, the Trauma Program manager at Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills, to one question: How many victims could have been saved by bystanders?
Smith has worked for decades as a frontline nurse in the Emergency and Level II Trauma Center. In her current role as a leader in a verified level II trauma program, she trains people to respond when they come face-to-face with the unthinkable — a victim bleeding so badly that he or she could die before medical help arrives.
On Dec. 9, she’ll teach community education classes that can save lives.
“Several factors can hold people back from saving a life, such as worrying about getting hurt, being afraid about worsening the situation and not knowing how to help,” said Smith.
That’s why this certified trauma nurse is working to spread the word about a national public service campaign called “Stop the Bleed.” Smith’s free, hour-long classes are online, and you can sign up for sessions at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or noon.
Skills taught will include recognizing life-threatening bleeding, applying direct pressure to a bleeding wound, tourniquet use and application, and packing a wound to stop bleeding. No previous medical training is needed.
Five things to do in a bleeding emergency:
- Be sure you are not in harm’s way, such as on a highway or in the line of fire.
- Call 911.
- Figure out where the blood is coming from. If blood is spurting, pooling or soaking clothing, it could be a life-threatening situation.
- Grab a shirt, scarf or whatever is handy to cover the wound, or just use your hands if nothing else is available.
- Press hard on the wound with your hands or even your knee until help arrives.
Smith and her Beaumont team have trained members of the Farmington Hills Police and Fire Departments as well as the city’s Emergency Preparedness Commission to become “Save the Bleed” trainers. To give back to the community, these public servants are partnering with her to educate the community at the Dec. 9 event at Beaumont, Farmington Hills.
Smith said, “Please take an hour away from the busy holiday season to attend this class to gain the knowledge and confidence to assist a fellow human being in an emergency.”