DENVER — March 23 is National Stop the Bleed Day. There has been a national spotlight placed on teaching bystanders how to stop life-threatening bleeding.

Launched after the Sandy Hook shooting, this national initiative by the American College of Surgeons and other partners, is teaching people how to save lives. Justin Harper, the Assistant Chief for Denver Health Paramedics helped us learn the steps to Stop Life-Threatening Bleeding

  • Call 911 first.
  • Apply pressure with hands. Wear gloves if possible. If there are no gloves available, still apply pressure and clean your hands thoroughly with water and soap.
  • Apply pressure with dressing. Anything will work like a blanket, shirt, towel, etc.
  • Apply a commercial-grade tourniquet.  It is not recommended to use a homemade tourniquet.

A person can bleed out and die from his/her wound within minutes. Bystanders can perform critical actions on-scene to stabilize the wound until paramedics arrive and the person can be transported to the hospital. 

Without those first critical actions, I have seen many victims of gunshot wounds and accidents die in the Emergency Department. Quick action on-scene by bystanders can be the difference between life and death.

Children and adults can learn how to save a life by attending a free class, which are being held throughout Colorado. Interested in having Denver Health Paramedics do a training in your community? Click/tap this link to learn more.

Follow 9NEWS Medical Expert Dr. Comilla Sasson on Facebook and Twitter. Have a medical question or health topic idea? Email Dr. Comilla at comilla.sasson@9news.com

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