06 May 2016

National Trauma Awareness Month. Don’t Be a Bystander – Be a ‘By-doer’

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It’s National Trauma Awareness Month. Don’t Be a Bystander – Be a ‘By-doer’

May 2016 marks the 28th annual National Trauma Awareness Month, a call to focus on injury prevention and raising trauma awareness. Traumatic injuries are the number one cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 46 years old, and the number three cause of death overall in the United States.

And yet, the majority of the population doesn’t have the training, or the tools, to stop major bleeding. A recent U.S. survey suggests very few Americans have taken a first aid course in the last two years, and those who did probably didn’t get taught to control bleeding.

Severe bleeding can kill before an ambulance arrives and is one of the leading causes of preventable death both on the battlefield and in the civilian setting. 


Over the last 28 years, there has been a shift in the treatment of severe bleeding from traumatic injuries. Americans need to pay attention to these changes because the life you save is mostly likely to be someone you love.

When a person is bleeding severely, it is more important to have someone who is willing to act rather than worrying about putting pressure on the wound and causing harm. Nearly every week police officers and first responders around the nation are saving lives using tourniquets and hemostatics. Even ordinary citizens are bring called to intervene when strangers are severely injured, through initiatives like the Stop The Bleed. Whether the cause of traumatic injury is from a car accident or an active-shooter incident, bystanders on the scene are in the best position to render preliminary lifesaving care as ‘by-doers.’

How you can act

Knowledge is perishable and protocols may have changed since your last first aid class. This month consider signing up for a First Aid/CPR/AED or Wilderness First Aid class. Ask your instructor if they train with tourniquets and hemostatics. And keep an eye out for new Bleeding Control (B-Con) classes in your area.

Please consider donating blood this month. A single car accident victim may need as many as 100 units of blood, and the blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.

Don’t be a bystander – be a ‘by-doer.’ Empower yourself to act quickly and save lives. With some awareness and simple training, we can all help stop the bleed and prevent death from traumatic injuries.


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