Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

New Stop the Bleed course designed specifically for HS students

Image of A medical care training exercise. Army Spc. Seacret Oliver, a Combat Medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, provides medical care to Army Sgt. Kallie Montgomery during a training exercise at Training Base Gamberi, Laghman Province, Afghanistan in April 2019 (Photo by: Army Sgt. Jordan Trent, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team).

Traumatic injuries -- like those sustained in car crashes or falls -- are what kill the most people between ages one and 44 in the U.S., even more than cancer, HIV, or the flu. In fact, a person can die from blood loss in just a few minutes. While these statistics likely won't change overnight, training the public to treat injuries offers hope during an emergency, says Dr. Craig Goolsby, science director of USU's National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH).

"We want people to be ready when a tragedy occurs," Goolsby said. "We're trying to get as many people as possible to learn how to treat life-threatening injuries."

For the past several years, Goolsby and his team at USU have been leaders in the national "Stop the Bleed" campaign, launched by the White House in 2015. The public-private effort encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before first responders arrive.

Over the last few years, Goolsby and USU's NCDMPH have focused their efforts on this campaign, in particular, on researching the most effective ways to educate people on how to "Stop the Bleed" and how to quickly take action when an emergency happens, potentially saving the life of a loved one, friend, or even a stranger in a public space. They've published several studies looking at which teaching methods are most effective at helping learners absorb this information -- online, in person, "just in time" training," or a combination of those modalities. They've also been developing smarter and more intuitive devices that can help facilitate bleeding control.

In addition, they are working on designing new education programs that are identified for specific learner populations, such as high school students, who haven't yet been targeted as robustly with this information, Goolsby said.

In collaboration with the American Red Cross and with funding from the Department of Homeland Security, NCDMPH has developed the first national Stop the Bleed course designed specifically for high schoolers, called First Aid for Severe Trauma, or FAST. This course and its digital materials, which will soon be offered at no cost to high school students nationwide under the age of 19, teaches how to stop bleeding after an injury.

high school students learning how to use a tourniquet USU's Dr. Craig Goolsby demonstrates how to use a tourniquet for high school students at a 2019 conference in Orlando, Florida. Goolsby has researched effective teaching methods as part of a grant to develop a trauma first-aid course for students that incorporates elements of Stop the Bleed (Photo by: Sarah Marshall, USU).

FAST is also designed to be empowering, and straightforward. High school students will learn how to recognize that a bleeding emergency exists, and what action to take, i.e. applying pressure or using a tourniquet, while keeping safe in an emergency or violent situation. It also teaches them how to communicate with others at the scene and with emergency dispatchers.

It's really beneficial to reach this population of student because they can influence others in understanding these lessons, Goolsby added.

"There are willing learners at all ages, but children in particular are highly willing to learn and highly susceptible to learning new lessons," he said.

Another advantage of teaching high school students is not having to overcome incorrect information that has been imparted on them. For example, previous generations might remember being taught to never use a tourniquet for any reason, but it's now known that's not correct. High schoolers, on the other hand, likely haven't heard that before, and don't have to overcome that negative lesson.

"We also know that by teaching young people, there tends to be a multiplier effect," Goolsby said. "They go home and tell their parents what they learned, as well as their friends and others. Teaching one high school student can result in more than one person learning important lessons through this sharing process."

While Goolsby emphasizes that preventing injuries is critically important, accidents will continue to occur and people need to know how to respond. He envisions a world in which people know how to save lives by stopping life-threatening bleeding.

A photo of the "Stop the Bleed" app The integration of technology, such as the “Stop the Bleed” app can help teach average citizens how to control severe blood loss in a mass trauma event. The app was developed by the Uniformed Services University's National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (Photo by: Sarah Marshall, USU).

"Combining widespread education with access to effective tools (like tourniquets), is the best way to reach our goal," he said.

Goolsby said his interest in this area piqued after serving two tours in Iraq as an Air Force emergency physician, treating injured service members on the battlefield. Many of those who came into his care were badly wounded, but yet they were alive.

Despite being in an austere, hostile environment, these service members were being kept alive because their fellow troops knew how to take action to stop bleeding thanks to the military's Tactical Combat Casualty Care training. These life-saving lessons were brought from the battlefield and are now being applied to the next generation in this country.

"It's very rewarding to share simple lessons that can directly impact people's lives," Goolsby said. "If people can use these lessons to save lives, that's just awesome."

For more information on Stop the Bleed, visit: https://stopthebleed.usuhs.edu/

For information on the FAST program, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/first-aid-severe-trauma

For more on Health Innovation during July, please visit: www.health.mil/HealthInnovation

You also may be interested in...

Article
Nov 8, 2023

Military Health System Leaders Discuss Support, Future Initiatives During AUSA Family Forum Panel

Military Health System Leaders Discuss Support, Future Initiatives During AUSA Family Forum Panel

“Our mission is improving health and building readiness and I put it in that order, because we are responsible for improving the health of all 9.5 million beneficiaries, families, retirees, their families service members,” said .U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland, the director of the Defense Health Agency.. “When we do that, we will build readiness ...

Fact Sheet
Nov 6, 2023

Warfighter Brain Health After TBI: Guidance for Leaders

.PDF | 895.85 KB

This TBICoE fact sheet, Warfighter Brain Health After TBI: Guidance for Leaders, condenses the basics of recognizing, reporting, and preventing TBI in service members. It updates and supersedes the Line Leader Policy Guidance fact sheet and includes a list of what the DOD has defined as potentially concussive events and outlines leaders’ ...

Article Around MHS
Oct 19, 2023

Lights, Camera, Ultrasound! Uniformed Services University Nursing Students Train Using High-Tech Simulation Theater

The Uniformed Services University students from the family and women’s health nurse practitioner program attended the university’s Wide-Area Virtual Environment at the Simulation Center for the first time in Oct. 2023. (Photo by Tom Balfour, USU)

Military students from the Uniformed Services University conducted immersive medical team training in the university's Wide-Area Virtual Environment. The theater is a a state-of-the-art 3D immersive reality facility that simulates various scenarios, replicating environments from war zones to medical emergencies, to prepare them for real-world medical ...

Article Around MHS
Oct 12, 2023

Airman, Soldiers Graduate from Interservice Physician Assistant Program at Walter Reed

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center physician assistants pose for a group photo in front of Walter Reed's Tower in Bethesda, Maryland, Oct. 6, 2023. The physician assistants came together in recognition of National Physician Assistants Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brett Walker)

Although the paths that Air Force Capt. Grace Kim and Army 1st Lts. Demetre Harris and David Owunna took to achieve their shared dream of becoming physician assistants (PAs) differed, all donned their white lab coats as the military’s newest PAs during their graduation from the Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) on Sept. 29 at Walter Reed.

Article
Oct 3, 2023

Medical Modeling and Simulation Experts Make Military Exercise More Realistic, Effective

Medical Modeling and Simulation Experts Make Military Exercise More Realistic, Effective

The Defense Health Agency’s Defense Medical Modeling & Simulation Office provided subject matter experts to support Exercise Northern Strike 2023, which took place at multiple training areas throughout Michigan, Aug. 12-15, involving more than 7,000 participants from 25 states, one territory, and four international partners.

Article Around MHS
Sep 15, 2023

Health Affairs Secretary Visits San Diego Facilities Discusses Importance of Readiness Quality Health Care

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 14, 2023) Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, is briefed on Naval Medical Center San Diego's (NMCSD) Bioskills and Simulation Training Center's (BSTC) capabilities by Capt. Cory Gaconnet, BSTC department head. The BSTC offers medical students, nurses, interns, residents and hospital clinical staff the opportunity to train in a virtual patient care environment using simulated patients and sophisticated technology. The center contains overhead cameras that tape the medical team's actions, so leaders can provide feedback after the simulated training. The BSTC plays a key role in maintaining patient safety and ensuring the operational readiness of all hospital staff. The mission of NMCSD is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality health care services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active-duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere.  (Photo: Marcelo Calero)

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, visited the Defense Health Agency’s San Diego Market from Sept. 13-14, touring research and medical facilities and meeting with staff to discuss the unique challenges facing Southern California’s medical treatment facilities.

Article Around MHS
Aug 28, 2023

Army Reserve-led Mountain Medic Soars to New Heights

U.S. Army Reserve critical care flight paramedics from 5-159th General Support Aviation Battalion, 244th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, Army Reserve Aviation Command, guide U.S, Air Force Reserve medical personnel from the 302nd Airlift Wing in offloading a casualty from a HH-60 MEDEVAC Black Hawk during exercise Mountain Medic at Fort Carson, Colorado, on Aug. 14, 2023. Mountain Medic is an Army Reserve-led joint, multi-component, multi-domain aeromedical evacuation exercise geared at improving and reenforcing medical evacuation operations in a simulated large-scale combat operations environment. (U.S. Army Reserve Photo by Master Sgt. Joy Dulen)

The third iteration of the fast-paced joint operation known as Mountain Medic 2023 was conducted in August 2023. Against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, the exercise aimed at improving and reinforcing medical evacuation operations and skill sets while pushing its medics, pilots, and aircrews nonstop in austere environments set for large-scale ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

MHSRS 2023 Kicks Off with Powerful Message: Medical Readiness for the Future Fight

Team members from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Medical Material Development Activity - Broad Spectrum Snakebite Antidote (BSSA) program, receive the Military Health System Research Symposium 2023 Outstanding Research Accomplishment award in team/program management in Kissimmee, Florida on August 14, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Lester Martinez-López kicked off the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium with a keynote speech on the morning of August 14, delivering powerful words to the more than 4,000 people attending the event. Weaving his heartfelt sentiments into an overall call for action, Martinez put the ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 17, 2023

Naval Medical Research & Development Researchers Participate in Undersea Operational Research Panel at MHSRS

Panel presenters for the Undersea Operational Research panel at the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Medical researchers from the Naval Medical Research & Development (NMR&D) enterprise specializing in undersea health met for a panel during the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHRSR) on Aug.15.

Article Around MHS
Aug 10, 2023

U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity Logisticians, Reserve Soldiers, Army Logistics Support Capstone Hospital Conversion Effort in Northern California’s High Desert

U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from across the 807th Medical Command inventory newly fielded medical equipment inside a storage warehouse at Sierra Army Depot, California, on July 19, 2023. Members of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, and soldiers with the 807th MCDS began an inventory of medical supplies this week as part of a capstone field hospital conversion mission for eight Army Reserve medical commands belonging to the 801st Combat Support Hospital. (Photo: T. T. Parish/U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, partnering with the Army Reserve’s 807th Medical Command, reached a milestone in its yearslong efforts to support U.S. Army Reserve medical commands last week, starting the final hospital conversion at the Sierra Army Depot in California.

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery