Fort Detrick, Md., May 23, 2022 – The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command conducted the second National STOP THE BLEED® Day awareness event on May 19. STOP THE BLEED® is a national public awareness campaign launched in 2015 and designed to make the general American public aware of their own capacity to spot and stop bleeding emergencies in their everyday lives. The campaign currently has more than 460 licensed partners across the globe. A total of 40 people attended the interactive training event, which took place on Fort Detrick’s Blue and Gray Field.
“The Stop the Bleed campaign translates techniques that have saved lives on the battlefield into something useful for everyone,” said Ramin Khalili, of MRDC’s Public Affairs Office st and event organizer. “We want everyone to know how to stop a bleeding emergency when faced with one, whether that be following a car accident, a sporting event, or even an accident around your home.”
Following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School violence and 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, a partnership began between the USAMRDC Combat Causality Care Research Program, the American College of Surgeons, and the U.S. National Security Council. The collaborative efforts studied ways to educate the American public. The STOP THE BLEED® initiative was then officially launched at the White House via Presidential Proclamation during 2015.
“You always want to alert 9-1-1 [in the event of a mass trauma incident],” said Sgt. 1st Class Hunter Black, a 14-year combat medic and the senior enlisted advisor at the USAMRDC’s U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) at Fort Detrick during the May 19 demonstration. “You want to look for mass extremity hemorrhage and apply a tourniquet.”
In a San Diego Union-Tribune article, “The ‘Golden Hour’: How the Afghan war brought advances in battlefield medicine,” John Wilkes, the author said, “In Afghanistan, what had been a 20 percent fatality rate in the early years of the war was reduced to 8.6 percent by the later stages.”
“The only winner in war is medicine,” he said.
Wilkes said the difference was the use of the tourniquet, which wasn’t widely used in the beginning. He also said the practice itself dates back to the reign of Alexander the Great and his invasion of Persia in around 334 B.C.
Today’s iteration of the STOP THE BLEED® campaign is an interagency effort designed to raise public awareness and build resiliency against life-threatening bleeding.
“The campaign seeks to increase the U.S. public’s understanding of its own capacity to respond to scenarios involving major injury and to render basic, life-saving aid,” said Khalili. “We are equipping and empowering the American public to act on behalf of others in mass trauma situations.”
At USAMMDA, project management officers lead Army medical product development and also both manage and oversee modernization efforts in order to support Warfighters. The STOP THE BLEED® campaign brings those lessons learned to regular every day citizens with training.
As a new flight medic in the Army during the war in Afghanistan, Austin Langdon, a guest speaker at the event and the deputy for medical Modernization, a part of USAMMDA’s Warfighter Deployed Medical Systems Project Management Office, said the most valuable lesson learned after being stationed at one of the busiest Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan was to prevent battlefield causality’s by stopping an arterial bleed by applying a high-and-tight tourniquet.
“I went into the battlefield excited about advanced medical techniques,” he said. “It was the basics that saved lives.”
To access virtual STOP THE BLEED® training sessions developed by the American College of Surgeons, a key campaign partner, visit: https://www.stopthebleed.org/training/online-course/. For information about the campaign itself and the many ways to get involved, go to http://www.stopthebleedproject.org.
Editor’s note: This story was written prior to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Out of respect for the families and friends of those affected by that tragic event, the decision was made to delay publication until now.