Following the filing of his bill HD.4327, The Massachusetts Trauma Response Preparedness Act, state Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, hosted doctors and nurses from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at the State House to train state legislators, legislative staff, and interns on the basics of bleeding control.
Through a mixture of lecture-style and hands-on activities, the American College of Surgeons’ nationally recognized, revolutionary, and life-saving course focuses on teaching bystanders how to identify serious hemorrhaging, stem it, and manage a potentially life-threatening situation until the arrival of first responders. The event was hosted to raise awareness for the simplicity and effectiveness of basic bleeding control kits in saving lives in hopes to pass Dooley’s bill, which would require every public building in Massachusetts — including public and private schools, libraries, transportation facilities, recreational facilities, entertainment and sporting venues, and buildings of government — to house one of these kits and a person trained to use it.
At the event Dooley expressed a national need for basic bleeding control kits not only as a result of the massive increase in Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) among civilians, such as the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing, but also for their utility in saving lives in even more common incidents such as car accidents and workplace injuries. In this regard the Stop the Bleeding Coalition (SBC), a national grassroots coalition of medical professionals, law enforcement officers, former military personnel, first responders, educators, and concerned citizens, estimates that each year more than 1,000 savable lives are lost due to inefficiencies in our emergency response systems and 80 percent of all civilian trauma fatalies are in fact due to hemmorhage from an extremity.
Dooley, along with the American College of American Surgeons, the Stop the Bleeding Coalition, and a group of bipartisan co-sponsors in the Massachusetts House and Senate are intent on addressing these issues and saving more lives by allowing bystanders to play the role of immediate first responders. As participants saw, a bleeding control kit contains easy-to-use tools such as a tourniquet, gauze, and gloves that would allow the average bystander to step in and act in an emergency. Participants practiced such a situation in a simulation, using a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and gauze to pack the wound.
The main provisions to Dooley’s bill speak to this simple idea. A firefighter and EMT himself in Plainville, Dooley frequently communicated his own experiences with trauma and the usefulness of tourniquets in discussion to the group present. “While they may seem to be flimsy, these little tourniquets literally are capable of savings thousands of lives per year. I know because I’ve witnessed it. In fact, it’s the reason so many people survived the marathon bombings a few years ago,” said Dooley.
This fact was confirmed by all the doctors and nurses present, many of whom were on duty that day.
In his concluding remarks, Dooley said, “I’m very grateful to the doctors and nurses from Beth Israel for coming to the State House to certify my colleagues and their staff on trauma response and bleeding control. This is vital training that will not only save lives but will also ensure that everyone is duly prepared to address such injuries. It is my sincere hope that the importance of my initiative is seen, and I hope you will join me in making Massachusetts the first in the nation to make this a reality.”.
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