UCI Medical Center teaches civilians how to stop life-threatening bleeding

ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, trauma doctors and experts at UCI Medical Center are teaching members of the public how to stop life-threatening bleeding in the event of an emergency.

"What are the things that we can do to prevent people from dying?" said Dr. Jeffry Nahmias, a trauma surgeon at UCI Medical.

The simple question is what he hoped to teach a small group of medical students in his class called "Stop the Bleed." The goal is to teach civilians how to stop severe bleeding before first responders arrive.

"This type of class will help empower people, whether it's a motor vehicle collision, which is the more likely thing, or unfortunately a mass casualty event," Nahmias said.

Motivated by the 2012 tragedy in Sandy Hook and multiple tragedies that have occurred in the ensuing years, what has become known as the Hartford Consensus brings together leaders from law enforcement, the federal government, and the medical community to improve survivability from man-made or natural mass casualty events.

The resulting injuries from these events generally are severe bleeding which, if left unattended, can result in death.

The participants of the Hartford Consensus concluded that by providing first responders and civilian bystanders the skills and basic tools to stop uncontrolled bleeding in an emergency situation, lives can be saved.

The first responder program has received very good response and is widely being used across the country. The next step is to focus on the needs of civilian bystanders.

The student EMTs from UC Irvine learned and practiced the proper way to stuff a wound and apply pressure, as well as how to apply a tourniquet.

The class is giving them the tools they need to stop life-threatening bleeding.

"I would like to help instruct other students, at my age and probably a little bit older, so everyone can know things like these," student Paul Bahtia said.

Nahmias said trauma is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 45. He hopes more people will step up and take the class.

"We owe it to ourselves, to our friends, to our families, to anybody who we come across if we're in any of these events to try and save their lives and to have the basic skills to be able to do that," Nahmias.

This course will be offered to the public on:
  • Saturday, Oct. 21, from 7 - 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 18, from 7 - 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 16, from 7 - 10 a.m.

They will all be held at 101 the City Drive South in Orange.

The public must register to attend this course. To register, visit: www.ucirvinehealth.org/events or call: (714) 456-7417.
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