Dan Scanlon (center) of Fallon Ambulance instructs Brigham staff on bleeding-control techniques during a recent training.

Dan Scanlon (center) of Fallon Ambulance instructs Brigham staff on bleeding-control techniques during a recent training.

The Emergency Preparedness team and The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation are placing 25 bleeding-control kits across Brigham Health facilities to help lay bystanders and medical professionals alike respond to someone experiencing uncontrolled bleeding before a code team or other first responders arrive.

Mounted next to automated external defibrillators and at other high-traffic locations across the Brigham’s main campus, ambulatory sites and BWFH, these emergency kits contain trauma dressings, gloves and tourniquets, among other supplies.

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The kits also provide supplementary support for untrained individuals through the “Mobilize Rescue” mobile app (for iOS and Android devices), which can be downloaded in advance or on the scene to receive step-by-step audio and visual cues for using the supplies. Brigham Health is the first health care system in the nation to deploy this technology.

Once the rollout is complete, the kits will be installed at 14 locations on the main campus, five locations at BWFH and six ambulatory sites.

The initiative is an outgrowth of the Brigham’s contributions to Stop the Bleed, a national awareness campaign aimed at teaching members of the public how to stop life-threatening bleeding in emergency situations. The effort was started in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings by the Hartford Consensus, a group of clinicians working to minimize preventable deaths after mass shootings and other mass-casualty events.

“Keeping our patients, visitors, faculty and staff safe and secure is our top priority,” said Eric Goralnick, MD, MS, medical director of Emergency Preparedness and the Access Center. “Now, you will always have access to lifesaving supplies while waiting for a medical code team or other first responders to arrive.”

stop the bleed kit

These boxes contain bleeding control kits.

The Stepping Strong Center has provided funding to Goralnick and clinician-investigators at the Center for Surgery and Public Health to study the implementation challenges for this global public health campaign and approaches for overcoming barriers, including solutions based on education, logistics, policy and epidemiology. In February, the center and the Uniformed University of the Health Sciences co-hosted the first National Stop the Bleed Research Consensus Conference at the Brigham, which gathered 45 subject-matter experts, professional society leaders and funding agency representatives to define the next decade’s research agenda for pre-hospital bleeding control.

In addition to increasing trauma survival rates, the goal of the Brigham’s implementation is to prepare bystanders to first call for the appropriate medical code or 911 and then grab a kit, open the app on their mobile device and follow the prompts to provide lifesaving interventions to anyone experiencing severe bleeding.

For those interested in further developing their emergency response skills, Brigham Health and the Stepping Strong Center will regularly host one-hour, in-person Stop the Bleed training sessions, during which participants learn how to properly apply a tourniquet and pack a wound, among other techniques.

The next Step the Bleed training sessions will be held Thursday, July 25, 4–5 p.m., in Carrie Hall, and Monday, July 29, 4–5 p.m., in the Mary Ann Tynan 1 Conference Room at BWFH. Registration is required. For questions or to register, email stopthebleed@bwh.harvard.edu. Faculty, staff, patients, family members and the public are all welcome to attend. You can also learn more by watching this brief video.