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Course teaches how to use tourniquet, stop bleeding until help arrives

“As a mom of three kids, a little frightened but as a nurse it makes me feel empowered and prepared.”

Walking through the campus at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, you may come across “Stop the Bleed” kits. Inside you’ll find tools to help control bleeding on yourself or someone else until help arrives. Those tools include a tourniquet.

A dozen kits were purchased in 2020 and some are available in hallways next to AED kits. Those kits can be used to help someone suffering from a heart-related medical crisis.

“At the medical center and out in the community we’re trying to give people awareness on how to use a tourniquet,” said Dr. Nicholas Kman, professor of emergency medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

He said this is a skill that could save someone’s life.

“If somebody has life-threatening bleeding, they can bleed out quickly,” he said. “In as little as three minutes.”

Dr. Kman recently offered a “Stop the Bleed” certification course for medical students. The idea is anyone can learn how to apply a tourniquet correctly, and then they can go on to teach more people in their community. He said for example he’s already offered “Stop the Bleed” training for school resource officers.

He said these kits should be readily available in places where a lot of people can be at once, like the airport for example.

“[Tourniquets] are very effective when applied quickly,” said Dr. Kman. “And it doesn’t take a ton of training.”

Dr. Kman said when he started to give this course, he used to have to take time to explain the relevance of knowing this skill. However, he points to the 2017 mass shooting at a country concert in Las Vegas as an example.

“The first people to respond and render aid were the concert-goers,” he said.

Lindy Martz, a nurse, took the training and is now helping others learn. When thinking about learning how to use a tourniquet, like learning how to do CPR, Martz shared how she feels about that.

“As a mom of three kids, a little frightened but as a nurse, it makes me feel empowered and prepared,” she said. “Prepared to go out and teach my family, individuals in the community, and empowered to hopefully save someone’s life as needed.”

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