Bleeding control kits installed on USF campus

- USF will soon place bleeding control around its campus.

The kits contain tourniquet, gauze, and gloves in the case someone needs to provide lifesaving assistance before an emergency response team shows up on the scene. 

Friday, the university provided a certification class for those interested in learning how to use the kids. For one woman, the choice to take the course was very personal. 

Three years ago, Kristin Steffen and her husband, Brett, were in the car when the unimaginable happened. He suffered a seizure while behind the wheel. 

"He stopped breathing in the car, we hit a tree, we were out in the woods in a remote area, and I was the only one there to respond," Steffen explained. 

Kristin administered CPR, and it saved Brett's life. 

That is why she couldn't turn down the opportunity to learn how to use bleeding control kits.

 "Certainly I understand my role as an active bystander," Steffen said. "I believe I can provide first aid to the community as necessary." 

Should an emergency occur, non-medically trained bystanders have the ability to curb the loss of blood. 

"The ability to quickly react and to be able to stop that bleeding is really important to be able to save not just the person, but save the limb and get that person back to their whole state," explained Donald Mullins, USF Health's Director of Safety and Preparedness. 

Mullins taught the course, and using dummy thighs, showed volunteers how to use a tourniquet and apply pressure in the case of a gunshot wound or laceration. 

"We're really trying to empower people to be able to react in a way that could really save somebody's life until emergency responders can get there," he said.

These are techniques aren't only applicable for mass casualty events, but also other emergencies like car accidents. 

Learning CPR helped Steffen save her husband.

"I've been able to apply that lifesaving skill a couple times since then, just by being an active bystander in the community," Steffen said. 

Now, these new skills could help save others. 

For more information on getting kits for your home or workplace, or where to take a certification class, visit bleedingcontrol.org

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