Knowing what to do to save a life in the aftermath of a mass trauma event — natural disaster, vehicle accident, or violent attack – is now right at the touch of a button. The Uniformed Services University’s (USU) National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) recently launched “Stop the Bleed,” a free iPhone and Android app designed to teach users how to stop life-threatening bleeding in an emergency – and hopefully save lives.
“We are extremely proud to make the app available to the public. It’s an important step in the “Stop the Bleed” initiative,” said Dr. Thomas Kirsch, director of USU’s NCDMPH.
“Stop the Bleed” is a White House-launched effort between several Federal and civilian agencies, including USU. The initiative launched in 2015 to teach citizens how to save lives from major trauma the same way bystanders would administer CPR to someone in cardiac arrest. But it’s not like other public education campaigns – it’s based on important lessons learned on the battlefield and a decade of research by the U.S. military. Researchers found that equipping troops with individual first aid kits that contain tourniquets and hemostatic dressings to control severe blood loss, combined with training on hemorrhage control for medical and non-medical forces alike, paid off. Thousands of lives have been saved on the battlefield.
“Our hope is that the ‘Stop the Bleed’ app empowers individuals to take action in the crucial minutes before first responders arrive,” said Dr. Craig Goolsby, science director at USU’s NCDMPH. “The ‘Stop the Bleed’ app provides instant access to instruction on differentiating life-threatening bleeding from non-life threatening bleeding, and how to apply tourniquets to stop bleeding.”
In an actual emergency, bystanders can open the app for step-by-step instruction on how to help – there’s even an audio version so they can freely use their hands while helping another individual who may be bleeding profusely. The app also features tutorial videos to teach users how to correctly apply tourniquets, and includes other useful resources to empower individuals to “Stop the Bleed” and save a life in an emergency.