UPMC Northwest begins training officials to save lives

From staff reports

UPMC Northwest is taking a role in the national Stop the Bleed campaign, an initiative that teaches bystanders basic first aid for victims of severe blood loss from injuries such as gunshot wounds, traffic accidents and other traumatic events.

Staff at UPMC Northwest and their community partners have been trained to use the “bleeding” kits and are beginning to train faculty and administrators at public schools in Venango County as well as members of local law enforcement.

On Friday, staff at Cranberry School District will receive training from hospital officials.

“Anyone can save a life. People just need to have a little background in what to do. Stop the Bleed gives them the basic training to assist a person who would likely die if immediate professional help is not available,” said Heidi Boitnott, nursing director in the emergency department at UPMC Northwest.

UPMC is committing $1.3 million over three years to put a bleeding control kit in every public school and a tourniquet on the belt of every police officer in western Pennsylvania.

The kits, which are like Automatic External Defibrillators used for cardiac arrest patients, contain special blood clotting gel, gauze and tourniquets, and the training involves basic hemorrhage-control techniques that greatly improve the chance of survival.

The Stop the Bleed initiative was announced by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security in November 2015.