What You Need to Know to Stop the Bleed and Save a Life

Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department Leads Stop the Bleed Training at Cardio Partners

On Wednesday, Lt. Mike McCutcheon and Engineer Scott Barnes of the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department led the Cardio Partners team in a hands-on Stop the Bleed training at the company’s Nashville headquarters. The highly experienced emergency medical first responders helped staff members better understand the contents of the company’s popular  Stop the Bleed kits and how to use them efficiently and effectively.

What is Stop the Bleed?

“Started in October of 2015 by the White House, Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and a call to action. Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives” (Department of Homeland Security).

“If you don’t know how to use this,” cautioned Lt. McCutcheon, holding a tourniquet in his hands, “they will die right in front of you.”

Still reeling from a recent shooting at a nearby Antioch Waffle House and from the tragic Parkland and Las Vegas shootings, where bystanders jumped in and saved lives, participants took his somber warning to heart.

“For me, this was about outfitting myself with the skills to best help my neighbor/family member or anyone in the event of an emergency” – Sean Stargel, Cardio Account Specialist

A person who is bleeding severely can die from loss of blood in less than five minutes. As bystanders are typically the first on the scene in the event of a mass shooting, injury, or accident, first aid certification and Stop the Bleed training sessions are increasingly important. With the right training, anyone can help stabilize a victim and improve their chances of survival.

The training, despite its grim subject matter and sobering opening line, managed to strike a lighthearted tone and packed in a great deal of vital information. Covering basic bleed control techniques such as direct pressure, wound packing, compression, femoral pressure points, and tourniquet application, the course was comprehensive and confidence-inspiring.

If you’re interested in learning more about Preparing Your Community to “Stop the Bleed,” Cardio Partners’ sister company, Bound Tree Medical, held a webinar on the topic in February. The webinar is available for on-demand viewing.

What’s Included in a Stop The Bleed Kit?

Curaplex Stop the Bleed kits are designed to provide the user with immediate access to life-saving products that can control bleeding and traumatic hemorrhaging. These vacuum-packed and tamper-proof kits include:

  • A permanent marker
  • 2 pairs of gloves, latex-free, large
  • 1 C-A-T® tourniquet
  • 1 emergency bandage
  • Pair of trauma shears, 7.5”
  • 2 rolls of primed, compressed gauze dressing
  • A printed insert which shows instructions for use

Advanced kits include 1 Pack of HALO seals and QuikClot combat gauze.

How Can You Save a Life and Stop the Bleed?

Remain calm and rely on your training in the event of an emergency. Before you do anything, take stock of the situation and make sure you’re safe and out of the line of fire. If necessary, move yourself and the injured person to safety. Once you’ve done this, and it’s safe to do so, call 911 and then offer assistance to the victim or victims.

“Remember, it’s their emergency, not yours,” said McCutcheon. “If they’re still conscious, the likelihood of survival is good.”

The Office of Homeland Security has provided a series of simple instructions to help bystanders respond quickly and appropriately in the event of moderate to severe bleeding. These simple steps can help stabilize victims until professional medical assistance arrives.  

Venous bleeding is often characterized by blood that trickles or oozes from the site of the wound. Most often these types of injuries can be treated with pressure, compression bandages, or QuikClot Gauze. If the victim is conscious and alert, have them help themselves by elevating and applying pressure while you assess the situation and, if possible, put on gloves.

McCutcheon and Scott reiterated the importance of first assessing the situation for personal safety, then applying pressure, and if the bleeding does not stop, placing a tourniquet “high and tight” on the affected limb. You’ll know you’ve successfully applied the tourniquet when there’s no pulse and the bleeding has stopped. It’s worth noting that a correctly applied tourniquet is extremely painful. If you’re able, label the tourniquet with the time it was applied. This allows emergency personnel to provide the best care possible.

The firefighters also covered basic triage techniques, how to correctly apply HALO seals to sucking chest wounds, and how to stanch bleeding from junctional wounds (such as those located in the neck, armpit, or groin).

Time to enroll in a first aid course? Interested in learning more about our emergency first aid kits our a Curaplex Stop the Bleed kit? Call our team at 866-349-4362 or visit AED.com or CardioPartners.com for more information.

TN Lawmakers Pass AED Legislation

New Tennessee Law Requires AEDs and AED Training for School Personnel

Tennessee state lawmakers recently passed legislation that requires automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all public high schools. It also encourages districts to equip middle and elementary schools with them as well. The new legislation, which is currently awaiting Governor Haslam’s signature, also provides funding for public high schools that are unable to afford the devices.  

The bill was backed by Rhonda Harrill, an East Tennessee mother who lost her son in 2009 to cardiac arrhythmia. According to a segment that aired on Blount County’s 10News in 2016, Tanner, her athletic and active son, had told his basketball coach that he wasn’t feeling well and took a seat on the bench. Just moments later the 13-year-old suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and collapsed.  

Although Tanner’s coach immediately began CPR and a bystander quickly called 911, the young athlete was pronounced dead less than an hour after his collapse. Later, an autopsy revealed that he suffered from a condition called Long-QT syndrome, which can cause fast and chaotic heartbeats, fainting, seizures, and as in Tanner’s case, sudden death.

In the nine years that have passed since her son’s death, Tanner’s mother has been advocating for AED legislation. Last month, Knox News reported that Harrill “First fought for a bill to require AED placement in schools across the state, then for training and AED drills to keep teachers and older high school students trained up on the lifesaving devices. The new bill, which still needs to be signed by the governor to become law, provides funding for schools who cannot afford AEDs to purchase them.”

Many companies, including Cardio Partners and AED.com, offer affordable AED packages for schools, helping ensure that students, teachers, and community members are protected. These packages may include an AED, compliance management, a wall cabinet, AED pads, a rescue-ready kit, signage, and more. CPR and AED training courses are also available.

Why AEDs Are Important

Harrill believes an AED could have saved her son’s life.

“[I] had heard of AEDs, didn’t know if the school had one,” she said in the interview with 10News. “They did, but it was locked up in the office, and it was behind a mailbox where teachers get their mail. You would have never known it was there.”

Tennessee’s new law marks a huge step forward in school heart safety. The American Heart Association reports that 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year! Tragically, more than 7,000 youth under the age of 18 experience SCA annually (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation). AEDs in schools can help save lives by restoring normal heart rhythms in individuals who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

While these automated devices are easy to use, annual AED training can increase user confidence and efficiency.

Furthermore, finding the best location for AED placement is critically important. Placing an AED in a highly visible and public location can mean the difference between life and death. Although Tanner’s school had an AED, it wasn’t located in the gym, where the likelihood of SCA is the highest. Not only that, but the device wasn’t even accessible to the general public.

When this bill is signed by Governor Haslam, Tennessee will join a growing number of states that have passed legislation that requires or recommends AEDs in schools. For more information about AED legislation, we encourage you to read our recent post, An Overview of State AED Laws and Recommendations.

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

An Overview of State AED Laws and Recommendations

AED Legislation: What You Need to Know

In 2015, the CDC reported that 375,000 people in the US experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association estimates that at least 20,000 lives could be saved annually by prompt use of AEDs. The AHA also notes that “communities with AED programs, which include comprehensive CPR and AED training, have achieved survival rates of 40% or higher for cardiac arrest victims.”

There Are No Federal Laws Regulating AED Placement

Although states recognize the critical role that AEDs play in saving lives, unfortunately, there is no national legislation requiring employers to provide an AED in the workplace. While OSHA acknowledges the importance of AEDs, no OSHA standards pertaining to AEDs in the workplace have been enacted. Furthermore, laws regarding AED placement vary widely from state to state. Even though there is no national placement standard, it is worth noting that AEDs are considered medical devices, and as such, the FDA oversees the manufacture and purchase of these life-saving devices.

The National Conference of State Legislatures writes, “While state laws vary, they generally address AED availability in public buildings, conditions of use, medical oversight, training requirements and post-event reporting. Some states require that schools be equipped with AEDs, while others mandate their availability at health clubs or other fitness facilities.”

AED Laws: What You Need to Do

In general, current state statutes and regulations define how to own, where to place, and how to use AEDs. Issues tackled by these laws include what individuals and organizations must do to administer and operate an AED program. Specifically, they address how to maintain AEDs, how to properly train key team members, what’s required regarding medical direction, and information about reporting agencies.

AED Legal Protections

Other laws have been enacted to protect organizations and individuals who are trying, to the best of their abilities, to help someone who is experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). These kinds of laws are most commonly known as Good Samaritan Laws.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia now include AED usage as part of their Good Samaritan laws. These laws vary by state but generally protect a bystander from civil liability for voluntarily aiding someone who is injured or ill (National Conference of State Legislators).

Organizations That Must Have AEDs Onsite

Finally, many states have enacted laws requiring spaces such as schools, churches, state buildings, and health clubs  to install and maintain AEDs onsite. According to 2017 research from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, state laws require:

AEDs in Schools

AEDs may be required in public schools in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee (pending)
  • Texas

AEDs are recommended in schools in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

AEDs in State Buildings

AEDs are required in state buildings in the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island

AEDs are recommended in state buildings in the following states:

  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • New Jersey

AEDs in Sports Clubs, Gambling, Non-Health Facilities

AEDs are required in sports clubs, gambling and/or non-health facilities in the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • District of Columbia

AEDs are recommended in sports clubs, gambling and/or non-health facilities in the following states:

  • North Carolina
  • Nevada

We understand that it can be difficult to stay abreast of the latest AEDs laws and regulations. One of the easiest and most reliable ways to ensure that your AED is in compliance and emergency ready is to invest in an AED compliance management system. Read our recent blog posts about AED compliance management or AED program management to learn more!

For more information about AED laws and Compliance Management, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Please note: The information included in this post and on our website is not intended as legal advice. As legislation changes often, this post may inadvertently contain inaccurate or incomplete information. We urge you contact your state representative should you require more information about current AED laws in your state.