JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, July 20 - Brooke Army Medical Center is installing Stop the Bleed kits throughout the hospital to be used in the event of an active shooter or other scenario involving traumatic blood loss.
The kits, which contain items such as a tourniquet and trauma dressing, are part of the Stop the Bleed campaign, an initiative to aid an injured person in the event of uncontrolled bleeding.
The loss of an excessive amount of blood in a short period of time is deadly, and this campaign is the stepping stone to not losing lives due to a lack of resources at hand.
The kits will be installed at BAMC, BAMCs five outlying clinics (Schertz, Westover Hills, Camp Bullis, Moreno clinic, and McWethy Troop Medical Clinic), the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center, the four Soldier Recovery Units, as well as a few more locations.
At BAMC and its outlying clinics, the initiative will work by mounting large kits on walls near automated external defibrillators (AED) machines. The large kits will each have five or eight smaller kits inside of them with the necessary equipment to stop uncontrolled bleeding. Each of the small kits will be strapped onto the inside wall of the large kits and will be easily detachable for grab and go purposes in the event of an active shooter or other emergencies. The small kits can be used for multiple people as each of them will have the same materials - a tourniquet, trauma dressing, compressed gauze, gloves, trauma shears, and a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bleeding control patch.
The kits mounted on the wall will also have laminated sheets inside with simple instructions for civilians to use in the unfortunate but realistic scenario of an active shooter.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Gerry Sharp, chief of the Department of Hospital Education and Training, explains that while most kits on Fort Sam Houston are identical to each other, some are different at the other locations.
Because the kits are located in multiple sites, the kits must account for travel time to the emergency room for the victim.
“After further discussion and research, we needed additional funding to get the advanced kits that included more appropriate materials for areas outside of BAMC since the ER isn’t as close to them,” Sharp said.
The increase in funding led to 350 individual kits being purchased and approximately $31,000 allocated to the Stop the Bleed campaign to have all of the kits in place by July 3, 2020.
With this many kits, BAMC realizes that many people will need training on how to effectively use the resources so the staff will train in phases.
Each section near where the kits are located will have a point of contact who will learn how to use them first and then train other staff.
Along with the employee training, there will be infomercials on the hospital televisions on how to use the kits.
Sharp explains that BAMC is confident they “have done a considerable amount of taking into account all areas necessary, but there’s always room for growth.”