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STOP the Bleed: NCU offers free training in bleeding control techniques

Published:Friday | January 14, 2022 | 12:06 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

With more than 480 fatalities as a result of motor vehicle crashes last year, and excessive bleeding often the main cause of death, Northern Caribbean University (NCU) is taking steps to train members of the public who have shown an interest in bleeding-control techniques.

The training, which was conducted last week, was facilitated by associate professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Dr Luis E. Llerena; his wife Dr June Llerena, simulation curriculum and development director at University of Tampa in Florida; and STOP the Bleed instructor and simulation educator and NCU Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing, Dr Nikki McLean. The event was held at the Hyacinth Chen School of Nursing, located on the university’s Mandeville campus.

“The only thing more tragic than death by bleeding is a death that could have been prevented,” said Dr Lenworth Jacobs, a Jamaica-born trauma surgeon who works in the United States of America (USA) and started this programme after a tragedy in Connecticut. “This [training] will help Jamaicans help other Jamaicans,” said Dr Llerena.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Transport and Mining, a total of 483 Jamaicans died in 435 fatal crashes in 2021.

The report revealed that of the total fatalities, 33 per cent occurred during curfew hours; vulnerable road users accounted for 62 per cent; passengers, 19 per cent; motorcyclists accounted for 34 per cent; pedestrians, 20 per cent; and private motor vehicle drivers accounted for 19 per cent.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative on Wednesday at the NCU’s main campus, Dr Llerena explained that training will allow individuals to identify the bleed, apply pressure, pack the wound and, if necessary, use a tourniquet in a medical emergency until medical professionals arrive.

Dr McLean added that the training sessions accommodated participants who are capable of training other individuals. The plan is to roll out the programme across Jamaica.

“We have 70 people that we are going to train this week and about a quarter of them will be able to train others, because I have spoken to physicians and nurses and other healthcare providers. The plan is then to roll it out in the schools, tourism and fisheries industries and through the churches across Jamaica.”

President of NCU Dr Lincoln Edwards hopes that the initiative will wean people off using phones to record an accident scene and post inappropriate content, rather than help the victims.

STOP the Bleed is one of the largest public health campaigns in the USA and has already been launched in countries around the world. By launching the programme in Jamaica on January 5, NCU will seek to engage people and organisations to join the cause. STOP the Bleed is supported by the United States Department of Defense, the American College of Surgeons, the US Department of Homeland Security, and many other organisations across the USA and around the world.