ThedaCare teaches bystanders how to stop the bleed after an injury

The items inside a bleeding control kit can help save someone's life. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

NEENAH, Wis. (WLUK) -- Whether it's a shooting at a concert, school or even a car crash, if you're willing to learn how to save a life, Appleton-based health system ThedaCare wants to teach you.

"What we've learned from these mass casualty events is that EMS and first responders can not always get in right away to help patients that are injured and that's for a variety of reasons. The scene can be rural, the scene can be active with ongoing shooting," said Dr. David Schultz of ThedaCare.

If a loved one or a stranger is bleeding and needs help here are the ABCs on what you need to know: Stay alert, call 911 or tell someone else to call. Then, if you see blood, figure out where it's coming from and stop the bleeding.

"The important thing is that the cloth or the gauze gets deep into the wound base which will allow pressure on those capillaries or arteries or veins that are bleeding. As you saw in the video, you can do it accordion style, pack it in fold it over and repeat," reporters were told during the demonstration.

Doctors advise applying direct pressure to the wound until first responders arrive.

Depending on the type of wound, the victim might need a tourniquet.

"A major cut across your arm and it is pulsatile bleeding and you're the only one around but you have a tourniquet. The great thing is you can do it one handed. You gotta make this tight," said Dr. Raymond Georgen.

If you apply a tourniquet, it's important to remember what time you put it on.

"It's very important for trauma surgeons because there's a difference if this has been on an hour verses seven hours," Georgen said.

These techniques work best on injuries to arms or legs.

  • If you're interested in taking a class. Click here and go to "bleeding control course"

"Stop the bleeding is a lifesaving intervention just like CPR is so without a lot of people trained in this, lives are going to be lost," said Nick Romenesko, Gold Cross Ambulance clinical and quality manager.

ThedaCare's ultimate goal is to have a bleeding control kit next to other safety devices, like an AED machine or first-aid kit, in every business, office and home.

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