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Stop the Bleed Campaign

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Launched in October of 2015 by the White House, “Stop the Bleed” is a national awareness campaign and call to action the Hernando County Health Department is taking very seriously.

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The initiative brings together a number of Federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and corporations to develop resources to train the public in bleeding control.

“Life-threatening emergencies can happen fast and emergency responders aren’t always nearby,” said Nina Mattei, the county’s health department Emergency Preparedness Director, who is instrumental in sharing the program in Hernando County.

“We want to encourage everyday bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives,” said Mattei. “That’s why we’re working with the Tampa Bay Health & Medical Preparedness Coalition to roll out the necessary resources to train not only our city and county first responders but the general public as well.”

The coalition comprises a group of healthcare organizations, public safety, and public health partners that join forces to make their communities safer, healthier and more resilient. Mattei is a voting member of the coalition’s Board of Directors.

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“That’s what brings Franklin Riddle to us today at one of our many training sessions,” said Mattei. “Riddle is the Preparedness and Logistics Coordinator and presents the training sessions of Stop the Bleed.”

In the recent training session held Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at the Animal Services Department of Hernando County, several members of the Community Emergency Response Team and animal services staff attended.

At the session, participants learned hands-on how to control life-threatening bleeding using specially designed mannequins.

According to the Stop the Bleed website, a person can die from blood loss within two to five minutes, so those nearest to someone with life-threatening injuries are best positioned to provide that immediate care if they are equipped with the appropriate training and resources.

“The red stuff is supposed to stay in the body,” said Riddle. “No matter how quickly the professional emergency responders may arrive, bystanders will always be first to help stop blood loss,” he said.

According to Mattei, the county has several hundred Stop the Bleed kits available. Each kit contains items like latex-free gloves, a tourniquet, emergency bandages, a mesh sled, trauma shears, several rolls of compressed gauze dressing and other necessary materials all vacuum-packed in a tamper-proof pack.

“One never knows when you might be called upon to help save a life, said Mattei. ”It could be your neighbor working in the garden or someone injured in a traffic accident.”

If you are interested in learning more about where to find courses on bleeding control in your community or to increase bystander engagement and willingness to act during an emergency, visit www.stopthebleed.org.

Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein has over 35 years experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with neurologically impaired adults. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of South Florida in Speech Pathology.
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