U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson sponsored a Stop the Bleed® training session for Congressional staff this week where surgeon members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) instructed more than 75 people on how to stop potentially life-threatening bleeding in an injured person, as part of the Stop the Bleed national awareness campaign.

These Congressional staffers are now among the more than 124,000 people who have learned bleeding control techniques in order to become an active/immediate responder who can assist a bleeding victim when and where they were wounded.

Each year, more than 180,000 people die from traumatic injuries sustained as a result of events including motor vehicle crashes, falls, industrial and farm accidents, natural disasters, and tragic mass casualty events like recent school shootings in Santa Fe, Texas, and Parkland, Florida. The most common preventable cause of death in these situations is the loss of too much blood in the minutes before trained immediate responders arrive.

Congressman Thompson asked ACS to facilitate the training because he recognizes a person familiar with basic bleeding control techniques is better equipped to save a life.  “This training is essential to ensure bystanders can become responders in emergency situations with traumatic injuries.  As Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I want to ensure people have the knowledge and skills about how to respond and potentially save a life,” Congressman Thompson said.

The ACS has been active in working with members of Congress and their staff to help disseminate Stop the Bleed training on Capitol Hill – and has trained more than 18 members of Congress and more than 200 Congressional staffers.

The effort to make Stop the Bleed training available to the public is driven by the goal to reduce or eliminate preventable death from bleeding, which is a priority for the ACS.

"On behalf of the American College of Surgeons, we're thankful to Congressman Thompson for highlighting the value of the Stop the Bleed program on Capitol Hill," ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, said.  "As we work to bring the Stop the Bleed program to communities around the world, it's encouraging to see Congressional leaders and their staff becoming Stop the Bleed trained."

The ACS-led bleeding control course is designed for individuals with no prior medical knowledge. It can be adapted to meet the needs of groups such as a Scout troop, local PTA or community group.  A Stop the Bleed course teaches participants how to use tools and techniques that were born on the battlefields of Vietnam and further reinforced during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program was developed by the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events, with strong support from the Hartford Consensus and oversight from the ACS Committee on Trauma.

For more information about the Stop the Bleed program and to find a training course, visit www.bleedingcontrol.org.