Cassville school bus drivers learn to ‘Stop the Bleed’

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Every second counts with a major bleed

The Cassville school district hosted a Stop the Bleed first aid course for its bus drivers this week.

Bus drivers are with the students on routes throughout the day, where they could run into a situation of needing first aid skills while waiting for help.

Bobbie Blankenship, R.N. at Cassville school, said the event was held on Monday from 7-8 a.m. at the bus barn.

“It was a first aid class for the bus drivers,” Blankenship said. “This was our first time to offer it.”

According to Blankenship, the goal is to teach the bus drivers first aid knowledge.

“We are seeing more children with allergies and other health problems,” Blankenship said. “So, we are trying to educate the bus drivers more on what they need to do if they were to have a problem while they are out on routes.

“The bus drivers go all over the place. They get pretty far away, and sometimes, they don’t even have cell phone service.”

Blankenship said an ambulance driver from CoxHealth taught the class.

David Lunsford, CoxHealth paramedic and field supervisor, said Blankenship contacted him to do the Stop the Bleed event.

“Stop the Bleed is a national initiative that started a couple years ago,” Lunsford said. “I’ve been an instructor for two years for Stop the Bleed through Cox. It is a completely free program to teach people how to stop major hemorrhages and a bit of first aid.”

Lunsford said the program is a response to mass shooting incidents across the country in recent years.

“A big group of people got together throughout the country and put together the Stop the Bleed initiative,” Lunsford said. “The reason being is that if there are people during a shooting or wreck that wait for EMS to arrive and not stop a major bleed, that is how people die.”

According to Lunsford, educating people on how to stop a bleed or apply a tourniquet within moments of the incident happening is how lives are saved.

“Because we have so many instructors out there doing this, we are seeing more people with major lacerations and bleeds, and by the time we get on scene, there is a make shift tourniquet there that someone was taught to apply,” Lunsford said. “Little things like that reduce people’s time in a hospital, and potentially saves their lives, all because of having a tourniquet on or someone being able to apply pressure to stop a major bleed.”

During Stop the Bleed there is a slide show, presentation notes and hands-on training.

“I’ve got things so people can actually get in and work with the tourniquets and gauze,” Lunsford said. “People will learn how to use them and when to use them.”

According to Lunsford, a tourniquet applied incorrectly, over a joint for instance, would be completely ineffective. With proper training, it is easy to learn how to apply them.

“There have been cases where people have had a tourniquet on for several hours, and because it was applied correctly, it saved the person’s limb,” Lunsford said. “However, not applying a tourniquet right or even using the wrong kind of material won’t work.

Lunsford said proper education is a must, and it really is simple, but there are a few rules that people have to follow.

For more information about Stop the Bleed events, people can call David Lunsford at 417-368-7667, or the Cox Health Trauma Services at 417-425-2503.

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