Stop The Bleed - Save a Life

July 8, 2024

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) created a free course called “Stop The Bleed” to educate the public on what to do when they encounter someone with severe bleeding due to injury. The website to learn more and take the online course is

“Stop The Bleed” shares that bleeding is the most common cause of preventable death after injury, and must be stopped as soon as possible. The only thing more tragic than a death, is a death that could have been prevented.

The program is designed for people with no medical background. The goal is to help individuals recognize life-threatening bleeding, and the appropriate actions to take until help arrives.

The course started as in-person only, but during the COVID pandemic, an online version was created. The online course takes about 25 minutes to complete and has proven to be helpful in rural areas now as well. You can search on the website and there are in-person courses available closer to the Twin Cities.

The course focuses on safety first, for both the victim and the individual there to help. First, is the environment safe, and what precautions to take to protect yourself from blood exposure, etc.

Next, it focuses on alerting for help, and then addressing the bleeding. The types of bleeding, and the methods to stop bleeding through applying pressure, packing a wound, and the use of tourniquets.

The program recommends against using improvised tourniquets such as ropes, belts, etc. as their effectiveness is uncertain. Another quick takeaway is that any impaled object should be left in place, and not removed.

Accidents and injuries are never planned and can happen anywhere. Home, work, a public event, a vehicle accident, etc. Help prepare yourself more for if and when that time comes, and your actions could help save a life.