Originally published on ABCNews7.

March 16, 2018
By Laura Anthony

OAKLAND, CALIF. (KGO) — It’s a timely subject unfortunately and the Alameda Health System is taking the lead when it comes to preparing people for the unthinkable, like the mass casualty disaster or an active shooter. In Oakland, a Highland Hospital trauma nurse demonstrated how an ordinary citizen can stop the bleeding when someone has been seriously hurt.

With mass casualty incidents fresh on the minds of many, the Alameda Health System is helping to teach people–not just health professionals–techniques to stop the bleeding after someone has been seriously injured or shot.

“They’re pretty simple,” explained Erica Peters Blaauw is a trauma nurse at Oakland’s Highland Hospital. “The first and foremost thing is just applying direct pressure. So if you see a bleeding injury, you just want to get some gauze, get a t-shirt and apply some pressure. Another one is placing a tourniquet around an injured extremity.”

The reality is when a bridge collapses or an active shooter is on the loose, the damage is often inflicted in a matter of seconds.

As many as 35 percent of people who die before they get to a hospital…do so because of massive blood loss.

“Whether it’s a single event or mass casualties from a natural disaster or a man-made disaster, those techniques of stopping a massive hemorrhage will literally save a life,” said Jim Morrissey, a paramedic who now works with the Alameda County Healthcare Services Agency and U.S. Homeland Security.

Bottom line–it’s a well-trained citizen-responder who can make that difference…between life and death.

Edited on June 21, 2018.