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Via Christi Trauma Services provides Stop the Bleed training to Kansas Highway Patrol officers

KHP Trooper Tiffany Bush

Trooper Tiffany Bush worked to pack a length of gauze into a deep, artificial puncture wound then she tightly wrapped the area with a pressure dressing. 

The task was one of several hands-on emergency bleed-control techniques she and nine other Kansas Highway Patrol officers learned today during a Stop the Bleed training session provided by Via Christi Trauma Services. The program — made possible through a grant from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi — provides training materials and Bleeding Response kits containing a tourniquet, dressings, gauze, a face shield and gloves. The instruction was led by James Haan, MD, who serves as medical director for Via Christi’s Level 1 Trauma Center in Wichita.

Most of the troopers assembled are state public resource officers who lead hundreds of community safety training sessions each year for active shooter situations and other critical incidents. In addition to using the emergency training and kits themselves should the need arise, the officers plan to extend the knowledge to the communities across Kansas where they serve.

“What we’re trying to do with the active shooter training in schools, businesses and churches, for example, is to get people in the mindset to understand that when they’re running and hiding, they might also have to be providing trauma care to classmates or other individuals at these scenes,” said Trooper Chad Crittenden, public resource officer for south-central Kansas and the Wichita metro area. “You’ve got to empower everybody right now because it can happen anywhere.”

In situations where life-threatening traumatic injuries occur, the first responders to the scene are often bystanders who don’t have the tools or knowledge to intervene. 

“It takes just five minutes to bleed to death,” said Carmella de Beer, a Via Christi trauma nurse specialist who helped with the troopers’ training. “Our hope is that if more people know what to do during the time it takes for police to clear the scene and for help to arrive, then they can save a life.”

Ronda Lusk, Via Christi’s Trauma Services outreach coordinator, said that while the hundreds of bleeding response kits being distributed by Via Christi are beneficial, the training is most important. The hour-long course teaches people when, where and how to use a tourniquet as well as wound packing and compression techniques for life-threatening bleeding. 

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Via Christi is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

About Melissa Lacey

Kansas born; mother of two; communications professional for Ascension Via Christi.