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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
On December 20th, our newest 53er and trauma surgeon, Allison McNicle, gave a class titled: Stop the Bleeding.
In this blog I will highlight the main points of the Stop the Bleeding class.
Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma, including falling in the mountains.
The Stop the Bleeding class teaches various ways to control bleeding for everyday people.
First: Ensure your own safety. If you get hurt, now there are two people that will need assistance.
The ABCs of Bleeding
A. Call 911 or use an emergency device (Spot etc.) to contact or send a signal for help. 911 will contact Search and Rescue here in Las Vegas.
B. Find the source of the bleeding.
Open or remove clothes if necessary to find the source of the bleeding. Find the source of "life-threatening" bleeding.
by applying pressure directly on the wound. Cover the wound with a clean cloth, handkerchief etc. and apply pressure with your hands.
If you have a trauma first aid kit:
Pack (stuff) the wound with gauze or a clean towel and then apply pressure with both hands. This will be very painful for the injured person.
Continue applying pressure until medical help arrives. In the case of Search and Rescue this could be a long time. Take turns applying pressure.
D. Apply a Tourniquet (arms or legs)
If you have a tourniquet in your first aid kit, apply it. If not, you can use rope, webbing, or clothing if the bleeding has not been stopped by applying pressure.
Apply the tourniquet above the bleeding site.
Make the tourniquet (webbing, rope) tight. Twist the windlass (rope or webbing).
Secure the windlass (rope or webbing) and note the time.
Thanks to Allison, Stop the Bleed, and American College of Surgeons for information and the diagrams.
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV