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Groundbreaking “Stop the Bleed” implementation at BAMC

Man hanging "Stop the Bleed" kit on wall Chris Talamantez installs a “Stop the Bleed” kit at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, July 17, 2020. The kits, which contain items such as a tourniquet and trauma dressing, are part of the Stop the Bleed campaign, an initiative to aid an injured person in the event of uncontrolled bleeding. (U.S. Army photo by Corey Toye)

Stop the Bleed trauma kits were recently installed at several sites across Joint Base San Antonio­Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Brooke Army Medical Center is installing Stop the Bleed kits throughout the hospital to be used in the event of an active shooter or other scenario involving traumatic blood loss.

The kits, which contain items such as a tourniquet and trauma dressing, are part of the Stop the Bleed campaign, an initiative to aid an injured person in the event of uncontrolled bleeding.

The kits will be installed at BAMC and the five outlying clinics (Schertz, Westover Hills, Camp Bullis, Moreno clinic, and McWethy Troop Medical Clinic), the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center, the four Soldier Recovery Units, as well as a few more locations.

At BAMC and its outlying clinics, the initiative will work by mounting large kits on walls near automated external defibrillators machines. The large kits will each contain five or eight smaller kits with the necessary equipment to stop uncontrolled bleeding. Each of the small kits will be strapped onto the inside wall of the large kits and will be easily detachable for grab-and-go purposes in the event of an active shooter or other emergencies. The small kits can be used to assist multiple people as each kit will have the same materials - a tourniquet, trauma dressing, compressed gauze, gloves, trauma shears, polyvinyl chloride bleeding control patch, and simple instructions.

The kits mounted on the wall will also have laminated sheets inside with simple instructions for civilians to use in the unfortunate but realistic scenario of an active shooter.

Army Lt. Col. Gerry Sharp, chief of the Department of Hospital Education and Training, explained that while most kits at Fort Sam Houston are identical, some are different at other locations.

Because the kits are located in multiple sites, the kits must account for travel time to the emergency room for the victim.

“After further discussion and research, we needed additional funding to get the advanced kits that included more appropriate materials for areas outside of BAMC since the ER isn’t as close to them,” Sharp said.

With many kits at many locations, BAMC realizes that many people will need training on how to effectively use the resources. As a result, staff will train in phases near the location of each kit.

Infomercials shown through the hospital’s closed-circuit television site will provide additional training.

Sharp explained that BAMC remains confident leaders “have done a considerable amount of taking into account all areas necessary, but there’s always room for growth.”

“This campaign leads to the reassurance of our staff, beneficiaries, and patients who come here that we are taking the necessary precautions as active shooter incidents have been on the rise,” said Sharp.

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