CHI Health St. Francis hosts "Stop the Bleed" class

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Bystanders will almost always be the first ones on the scenes in emergencies, which is why a local hospital is equipping people with the skills they need to save a life.

Around ten people went to the first "Stop the Bleed" class at CHI Health St. Francis Tuesday afternoon.

Health professionals taught some simple bleeding control techniques, like how to apply pressure, pack a wound and use a tourniquet.

Eric Heckman attended the class Tuesday. He's the director of youth and young adult services at the Catholic Diocese in Grand Island.

"We do a lot of summer camps with youth in relatively isolated locations out west near Chadron. Just wanting to make sure we can provide the best care if there was an emergency to the young people that are with us," Heckman said.

Mindy Walters, the trauma registrar at CHI Healt St. Francis, said the number one cause of death in most life threatening injuries is bleeding out.

In Nebraska, the most life threatening injuries she's seen are from people falling off horses and ATV or car accidents.

Walters said even though EMS can get to most places in Grand Island quickly, it can take much longer in rural areas.

"If a bystander does not intervene, a person can die from even a small wound very quickly. EMS does great. They can get almost anywhere within in Grand Island in five minutes, but within that eight minute time frame you can lose a lot of blood," Walters said.

People also learned the ABC's for the Stop the Bleed class; alert, bleeding - recognize the bleed - and compression.

The St. Francis Foundation is giving out 115 Stop the Bleed kits to local businesses and groups in the community. These kits have a tourniquet, gauze, gloves, scissors, sharpie and bandages.

The hospital has several more classes going on the rest of the month.

They are: Tuesday May 28, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday May 21, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday May 8, 6:30 p.m.

If you'd like more information or to sign up for the class, you can call the hospital at 308-384-4600.