Prepare for the Unthinkable with Stop the Bleed Training

Last Labor Day weekend, Mark Kother punctured a vein on his shin while cutting up old metal lawn furniture. His wife, Beth Hoffmann, was in the house and heard him cry out for help. When she couldn’t find the location of the bleed, she texted her neighbor, also a county deputy.

Beth applied a homemade tourniquet made out of rope, but when the bleeding still didn’t stop, they headed for Memorial ExpressCare.

“While I was getting him registered, a nurse came out and said they were sending him to the Emergency Department because it was a serious bleed,” said Beth. “There they determined he had punctured a vein, and the next several hours were a struggle as they tried to get the bleeding to stop.”

Eight hours and one IV bag, a tetanus shot, two tourniquets and a lot of glue later, Beth took Mark home – but not before a nurse suggested she take a “Stop the Bleed” class offered through Memorial Health System.

Beth and Mark signed up for the Stop the Bleed class the day it opened for registration. They were surprised to learn a person can bleed out in five minutes, and the seriousness of Mark’s situation that weekend became even clearer to both of them.

“We were told that the Stop the Bleed skills would not work for a punctured vein, but had I been able to pinpoint the exact location where it was coming from, I could have slowed it down until help arrived,” said Beth.

Among other things, the couple learned the ABCs of bleeding through the hands-on training offered in the class:

  • A= Alert. Call 911. Don’t wait. Call for help.
  • B=Bleeding. Find the bleeding injury.
  • C=Compress. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding by covering the wound with a clean cloth or using a tourniquet or packing a deep wound with gauze.

“We had never used a tourniquet so the hands-on learning gave us knowledge and skills we couldn’t get elsewhere,” said Beth. “We would absolutely encourage others to take this course as the skills you learn are invaluable. The free two-hour course could be the difference between life and death. Plus, you walk away with your own bleed kit, which includes a tourniquet that can be used with one hand.”

Memorial’s next Stop the Bleed classes will be offered June 27 and June 28.