Mason students Stop the Bleed

Students learn how to save lives with the National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health




On Monday, March 27, the National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health (NCDMPH) conducted a study at Mason’s Johnson Center to calculate just how well the average person could apply first aid if needed.

The Stop the Bleed campaign teaches three simple steps to take immediate action in case of bleeding injuries. “A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes,” according to the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

The first step is to firmly apply pressure with your hands on the bleeding site, and the second is to apply a dressing and maintain “firm, steady pressure,” according to the Department of Homeland Security’s website. The last step, which is practiced with kits at the events, is to properly apply a tourniquet.

The last step is where instructors, like the center’s Project Coordinator Victoria Klimczak, come into play. Klimczak taught students at the demonstration how to properly apply medical devices and compression to imaginary wounds.

Klimczak said that demonstrating how to properly apply a tourniquet is something she teaches every time she visits a university or organization, and she has “done this event before at other universities, including University of Maryland’s ROTC.”

Stop the Bleed events were launched in 2015 when the Department of Homeland Security set out to increase the number of people who can properly perform first aid. Their goal is that, in situations such as shootings, terrorist attacks or natural disasters, the number of survivors will increase, according to an article from The Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

“This is one part of the larger Obama White House initiative,” Kelly Gulley, project coordinator for the center, said. These campus research studies are just one of the efforts taken by the Department of Homeland Security. Along with research studies that teach first aid skills, students may also attend Bleeding Control for the Injured (B-Con) courses taught by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.

With these training sessions and research studies, Stop the Bleed is making progress on teaching the public how to save lives.

“We hope to do this in the future, possibly with the athletic department,” Klimczak said.