The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        Attending a free community event on May 23 at the Oregon Public Library may very well save a life.

        May 23 is Stop the Bleed Day, a nationwide campaign that highlights ways a bystander can help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

        Local health care professionals will be on hand at the library to educate the public on life-saving techniques to stop the loss of blood, according to Alexis Bolanis, trauma program coordinator at Mercy St. Charles Hospital.

        It takes just five minutes for a person to bleed to death without some kind of intervention.

        The class will show the public how to pack open wounds, how to apply tourniquets to wounded limbs, and pressure to bleeding arteries that will give a bleeding victim a chance to survive.

        There will also be health care professionals available to educate the public on how to treat other emergency situations.

        “The Oregon Police Division will conduct two classes of ALICE training. It teaches you what to do in an active shooter situation. It’s also taught in schools and churches. And the Oregon Fire Department and EMS will offer CPR training and ADD alert awareness. So we’ll all be there throughout the day,” she said.


Sandy Hook

        Stop the Bleed was developed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six staff members in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, she said.

        “After Sandy Hook Elementary happened, they found that a handful of people who were shot who didn’t make it probably would have made it if someone in the school or near them would have known to stop the bleeding,” said Bolanis. “Instead of dying of their injuries, some people bled to death. Mass shootings, unfortunately, are happening in places where you don’t have a trauma surgeon or a nurse nearby who can stop the bleeding.”

        Stop the Bleed is an initiative that partnered with the military, which knows how to stop bleeding on the battlefield, she said.

        “Basically, bleeding can be stopped by applying a tourniquet to an injured limb or holding pressure on wounds if the wounds are in the abdomen or chest area. You can’t always stop bleeding in the stomach or chest, so you stuff something in there. You can make a tourniquet out of anything. People might be afraid to even use a dirty T- shirt in a stab wound because it might cause an infection. But we don’t care if it’s dirty. Stuff it in there. It’s OK to do that. It’s what you have to do to save their lives. We can deal with an infection later,” she said.


Tourniquet safe

        For years, some have believed the use of a tourniquet would destroy tissue, and lead to an amputation. Bolanis said it is not true – at least in the short term.

        “You actually have to have a tourniquet on for two hours before you face loss of limb. That’s a really significant period of time,” she said. “The number one priority in any traumatic situation is to stop the bleeding.”

        In trauma nursing classes, she was taught to assess injures using the ABC approach: Check the patient’s airway, breathing, then the circulation. “Now they teach you to always check for bleeding first. Then you do the airway, breathing, and circulation. It’s something that has come full circle. We really need to be aware that people are bleeding to death.”

        The actual Stop the Bleed course is about an hour long, she said. Sometimes she goes to schools, churches and other places to teach the class, “places where shootings can happen.”

        At a recent mass shooting, she said some of the people had taken the course and had saved several lives by stopping the bleeding.

        “So it’s working, it’s getting out there, it’s happening.”

        Registration is not required to attend the classes, which are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

        The public can attend any of the classes.

        “They don’t need to be there the whole day,” she said.





The Ohio legislature has passed a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. In practice, that would make abortion illegal after six weeks.
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