Bleeding Control instructor training continues at Clinical Congress

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT) introduced Stop the Bleed® during Clinical Congress 2016 and familiarized College leaders with the Bleeding Control instructional materials. The objective was to create the momentum necessary to widely launch instructor training and introduce valuable training materials and information for use when taking Bleeding Control principles to the public. This year, the ACS will again offer Bleeding Control instructor training during Clinical Congress (see schedule at right).

The Bleeding Control training initiative has grown exponentially since last year under the leadership of ACS Regent Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, MPH, FACS; Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, COT Chair; and Mark L. Gestring, MD, FACS, Chair, COT Emergency Medical Services Committee. The program has welcomed more than 6,500 instructors and trained more than 40,000 individuals, thereby laying the groundwork for a competent citizen responder force prepared to take action in an emergency. The initial goal of the program was to reach every individual in the U.S. with the Bleeding Control skills necessary to save lives in the event of a bleeding emergency. That goal has now been expanded to facilitate training around the world.

Incidents such as the Las Vegas shooting, the Pulse night club shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy—the impetus for Stop the Bleed—have manifested the need for an initiative to empower everyday citizens to step up, make a difference, and potentially save lives. Instructors are now located in all 50 states, and the momentum is pushing into every community. With the help of prehospital health care providers, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel, the number of trained individuals continues to grow.

In the last year, the program has moved beyond U.S. borders. In Canada, Avery Nathens, MD, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Trauma Quality Programs, has brought the program to his trauma center, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, ON, and is training the citizens in his community. Maria Jimenez, MD, FACS, COT Regional Chair for Latin America, fully embraced the program and is establishing a program in South America, most recently bringing training to Curazao in the Caribbean. L.M.G. Geeraedts, Jr., MD, FACS, recently announced that more than 850 people had been trained in Amsterdam and the official acknowledgement and support for the Bleeding Control initiative in the Netherlands. These are a few examples of what is happening worldwide in Bleeding Control, with more countries embracing the program every month.

ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, has strongly encouraged all College staff to be trained in Bleeding Control, and training will be incorporated into the onboarding process for new employees going forward. Bleeding Control kits have been placed on each floor of the ACS headquarters in case of a bleeding emergency. 
Additionally, COT staff is working closely with the University of Chicago, IL, which is preparing to open a new trauma center on the South Side of the city and has committed to providing Bleeding Control training in the surrounding community. The Chicago COT has provided instructor training and is working on other initiatives within the city. 
In addition, the Georgia COT has done amazing work in the area with respect to spreading the word about Stop the Bleed and advocating for public access to Bleeding Control kits. In Arkansas, an effort is under way to get Bleeding Control training into the public school system.

With the upcoming release of the new Advanced Trauma Life Support System® (ATLS®) 10th edition (see article at left), Bleeding Control training will be offered as an optional course module, further promulgating the program wherever ATLS and other trauma-based educational programs is offered.

COT members and Trauma staff will be available Monday through Wednesday to answer questions about Stop the Bleed and the Bleeding Control program in ACS Central. Staff will be readily identifiable this year, wearing red Stop the Bleed t-shirts. If you see someone wearing one, don’t hesitate to ask for more information about how you can get involved in the program, or visit for more information.

The Bleeding Control program emphasizes that the only thing worse than losing a life is to lose a life that could have been saved through training in Bleeding Control. Be a part of the solution. Become an instructor. Offer classes to the people of your community. Empower others to save a life.