All posts by Cardio Partners

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.

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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.

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Your Reasons for Not Learning CPR Probably Aren’t Valid

Getting Your CPR and First Aid Certification is Easier than You Think

As a young athlete, I looked on anxiously as my coach responded confidently and calmly when a teammate collapsed from heat exhaustion and dehydration. I watched my mother howl in pain after being shot in the toe by a reveler’s stray New Year’s Eve bullet (true story). Although I had no real clue how to perform it, I steeled myself for the Heimlich when I watched my daughter inhale her first fish taco at an unsightly speed.

Over the years, I’ve stanched countless bloody noses and assessed minor sprains and major bruises, each time wondering, “Am I doing this correctly?”

Still, to my embarrassment, I never managed to take the plunge and sign up for a CPR and First Aid class.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably thought about getting your CPR and First Aid certifications but just never quite got around to it. Recently, however, I started writing for Cardio Partners. Over the past few months I’ve written posts with titles like “10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR” and “The Importance of CPR and AEDs: A Survivor’s Story” and found myself feeling increasingly unqualified to encourage others to sign up for CPR when I, myself, had yet to get certified.

So I decided to do something about it. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself as the lone writer in a small group of amiable YMCA of Middle Tennessee employees, compressing a steady rhythm on the chest of a well-used CPR manikin as my partners held the oxygen mask over its face, counted to 30, delivered rescue breaths, and prepared the AED to administer its life-saving shock.

Two and a half hours later, I was the proud holder of Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, Basic First Aid, and Emergency Oxygen certification cards.

I Don’t Have the Time to Take a CPR Class!

Sound familiar? After discovering that “blended” classes incorporating online training with in-person live skills sessions were offered at my local Y, I realized that my biggest excuse was no longer valid.

Within moments of registering for the course, I received an email from the instructor with a link to the online portion of the course. Initially, I was a bit daunted by the sheer number of lessons required — I opted to become certified not only in CPR/AED, but also in Basic First Aid and Emergency Oxygen administration and had 46 lessons to complete and 3 exams to pass.

I soon discovered, however, that the lessons were short, easy-to-follow, and well-constructed.

Each lesson built nicely upon the one that preceded it and I found myself well-prepared to ace each of the three online exams.

Conveniently, I was able to complete the course in stages and at my own pace. Although it took me five days and a total of four hours to complete, I’m sure that quicker studies than myself could do so in a single session in as little as three hours.

I’m Waaaay Too Squeamish to Take a First Aid Course!

Yup. That’s me. I’m the person in the movie theater who covers her eyes and plugs her ears and whispers, “Is it over yet? Can I look?”

If I survived, you’re going to be just fine.

The videos are predictably staged, the blood is clearly fake, and the burns are obviously of the latex variety. Yeah, you’ll cringe a time or two, but you’ll make it.

I’m the Last Person You’d Want Performing CPR or First Aid!

Prior to completing the course, I’d have to say that statement fit me pretty well. Now that I’m far more confident in my abilities (while still being well aware of my limitations) I’d say that you could do worse than having me by your side in an emergency.

Michelle Mattox, a CPR/AED/First Aid/O2 Instructor at the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA in Nashville has certified hundreds of people over the years and says that she’s gotten a ton of positive feedback from her students, “It’s more effective when people take an online and in-person class because they get a chance to see it, hear it, and be taught the basics at their own pace and then in the class they can really focus on their skills and getting it right. It’s easier to digest that way. Pretty much everybody that I’ve talked to tells me that they feel more confident and that they know what to do.”

CPR Training is Too Expensive!

Costs may vary from provider to provider, but let me assure you, it’s quite reasonable. I recommend checking out the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or your local YMCA for an affordable course near you. Or, to arrange a training for your workplace or organization, call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 or send an email to customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Char Vandermeer is a freelance copywriter based in Nashville, TN. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading, gardening, kayaking, and soaking up the sunshine with her family. 

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