Bleeding to death is the number-one reason people die from injuries. This often occurs before trained pre-hospital providers arrive on scene.

In many situations, it is the average person on the street who is first on the scene and can help save a life — if they know what to do.

“Stopping bleeding is an easy lifesaving skill that everyone should know,” says Leonard Weireter, MD, the Arthur and Marie Kirk Family Chair in Surgery and Professor of Surgery at EVMS, and Vice Chair of the Committee on Trauma with the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Dr. Weireter is working with the ACS Committee on Trauma, in conjunction with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and the Hartford Consensus to teach bleeding-control skills to the general public. Their training program is known as “Stop the Bleed.”

“The goal of the Stop the Bleed program is to train every citizen in these simple life-saving maneuvers,” he says. “The only thing more tragic than a death is a death that could have been prevented.”

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the regional Level One Trauma Center, and EVMS Surgery will offer this training program free to all members of the community in the near future. The training takes approximately 45 minutes and teaches the correct use of a tourniquet as well as how to pack a wound to control bleeding.

The training has already begun locally. The program is available to EVMS students and staff, as well as employees of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

EVMS will offer the training to the general public beginning in November through the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning at EVMS. Register for a class.