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Stop the Bleed: It’s In Our Blood

Two Generations of Bleeding Control Educators

By Arenal G. Haut, Fletcher B. Haut, and Elliott R. Haut, MD, PhD, FACS

           A simple, life-saving skill, like Stop the Bleed, is always worth learning. It’s doable and teachable, and it’s accessible for everyone to pick up and spread the word. In Fletcher’s words, “my dad thinks that teaching us about these things is important.” The principles of Stop the Bleed are in our blood. My dad is a trauma surgeon who has been advocating for Stop the Bleed education as long as we can remember, and we’ve helped him teach bleeding control on numerous occasions. Together, my family and I have brought the course to many community locations important to us. Post-COVID, we plan on continue to help grow this lifesaving education.

          During the first National Stop the Bleed Month in March 2019, my parents and I held a class at our synagogue, teaching a session that “could one day have a most significant impact – saving one or several lives” as the author of the Chizuk HaHodesh newsletter wrote. Our audience was people of all ages, from teenagers to grandparents; it was an amazing opportunity to reach people we might never connect with otherwise. My dad and I, along with a team of healthcare professionals, also brought Stop the Bleed to my high school, educating over 300 teens on essential bleeding control techniques. I was really embarrassed to have my dad there (no teen wants their parent to show up at their high school!), but the potentially life-saving skills we taught made it more than worth it.

           My brother and dad have also worked together on this project. Together, they taught a group of two dozen school nurses from across Maryland, educating them on important hemorrhage control skills and enabling them to spread the word to their own school communities. Fletcher was especially proud of his wound packing ability and repeatedly demonstrated his skills on the inanimate mannequin leg.

           Fletcher filmed a tourniquet video when he was very young, showing that these skills are doable, even if you’re only seven. In his own words, it’s “easy to learn, and once you learn it, it’s like riding a bike, you don’t really forget it. It’s also easy to teach.” His video is probably just as instructive, if not more so, than the one my dad filmed for the Baltimore Sun.

          In most of our everyday lives, bleeding control seems distant and irrelevant. But you never know what situations you could find yourself in, and it’s always good to be prepared. My brother is always reminding us that it’s important to know “in case of emergencies”, but situations could happen anywhere and to anyone. From public places to your own home, complete strangers to close family and friends, nobody is immune. We all need to be prepared to save those who matter to us, no matter how unlikely the situation may seem.

           From Dr. Haut: I am so proud of my kids. They wrote everything in this blog up until this paragraph. All I had to do was ask them to tell their Stop the Bleed story. Hopefully, they have convinced you to learn how to save a life.  May is National Stop the Bleed Month and May 20th is National Stop the Bleed Day. The Stop the Bleed course is aimed at the lay public to help teach techniques to use for rapid hemorrhage control before arrival of trained medical personnel. Just as we have taught millions of people to perform CPR for cardiac arrest, Stop The Bleed is the analogous concept for saving lives of people injured after major trauma such as car crashes, falls, or interpersonal violence.  The free, one hour class is actively being taught by over 85,000 instructors in all 50 states and over 100 countries.  More than 1,500,000 people have taken the course and are prepared to help Stop the Bleed. Are you ready to learn? Go to the website to find out more about a local course in your area.

Thank you Arenal, Fletcher, and Dr. Elliott Haut for sharing your Stop the Bleed story for our Maryland TraumaNet’s Stop the Bleed Day Blog.

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