New bill would require Indiana schools to implement a ‘Stop the Bleed’ program

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new bill moving through the Indiana House of Representatives calls for a lifesaving initiative called “Stop the Bleed” to be taught in schools around the state.

The national initiative first began after the Sandy Hook shooting, and is considered a simple, but effective way to save lives

"So you pull this really tight and you Velcro it down,” said Eskenazi Health trauma educator Meg Morris as she displayed how to use a tourniquet.

Morris says that blood loss is the leading cause of death for trauma patients. Roughly 20 percent of trauma patients who die could be saved if given proper bleeding control in the early stages.

"All you have to do is put that pressure on and you don’t let it go," Morris said while using gauze on a dummy. "If this is all you do for someone and this is all the supplies you have, this alone will make a difference.”

"If a person has an injury to one of these blood vessels, then they can die within minutes," said Eskenazi trauma surgeon Clark J. Simons. "So anything that we can do to stop the bleeding and diminish the bleeding is very important for us.”

After Indiana saw two school shootings in 2018 alone, state lawmakers are now considering House Bill 1063 that would require schools to have a “Stop the Bleed” program. Many area schools have already begun doing so.

“I wish we didn't have to teach this to our kids and this wasn’t a conversation that we have to have," Morris said. "But with that being said, I think we’ve already seen the difference this has made.”

Morris has already trained roughly 600 members of Plainfield schools, and says they’ve already added kits in classrooms and school buses. It's very simple knowledge and equipment that can make a major difference.

“The best medicine is basic medicine," Morris said. "Simple things like holding direct pressure, that's exactly one of the first things we do here when someone gets to the emergency department.”

House Bill 1063 will now move on to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.

Eskenazi offers "Stop the Bleed" training for free to the public. You can find classes here.

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