Following the mass shooting that killed 11 people in Monterey Park, a local hospital is hoping to save lives by teaching people how to help those with traumatic injuries.
In a demonstration called, “Stop the Bleed,” lessons are taught on how to use a tourniquet to stop life-threatening blood loss.
“Every time you hear something tragic like this on the news, it sparks you to say, ‘Well, what can I do?'” said Belen Mackenzie, trauma program director at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. “This came from the realization that people were not necessarily dying from the gunshot wound itself or the injury itself, but the bleeding out.”
“Hemmorage is what kills you,” said Dr. Michael Jimenez, medical director of trauma at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. “You have massive, uncontrolled bleeding, so seconds and minutes matter.”
“If there’s a bullet hole, pack the wound and hold pressure,” Jimenez explains. “The goal for this compression is to stop the mass hemorrhage by compressing the vessels, the arteries and the veins.”
If the bleeding is still uncontrollable, use a tourniquet, said Jimenez.
Place the tourniquet above the wound and continue turning clockwise until the bleeding stops. If you don’t have a proper tourniquet, a belt will suffice in a pinch.
“The faster you can control the hemorrhage, the better you’re optimizing that victim to survive such a catastrophic event,” Jimenez said.
“People should know about this because it saves lives,” said Mackenzie. “It empowers people to save other lives. Three simple steps — Alert, Find the Bleed, Hold Pressure. It’s the best chance of surviving and it gives first responders a chance to get to that victim as soon as possible.”