June 13, 2018 10:04 pm
Updated: June 14, 2018 6:23 pm

Program kicks off at Chinook Regional Hospital with goal of empowering people to help when someone is bleeding to death

'Stop the Bleed' campaign in Lethbridge, Alta.

Global News

Before paramedics arrive at an emergency scene, everyday people — if equipped with the right skills — can help save a life.

The Stop the Bleed program kicked off at Chinook Regional Hospital on Wednesday, with Lethbridge being only the second city in Canada to implement the course.

The initiative aims to encourage people to get trained on how to help people that are bleeding to death until paramedics arrive.

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“Personally, I don’t like medical things, but I also realize that I might be the only one that is able to save a life,” said Carol Roesler, who was participating in the program. “And so knowledge is your best… know-how.”

The program began as an awareness campaign in the United States following 2012’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

READ MORE: U.S. teachers trained on how to stop bleeding as school shootings rise

“It’s not isolated to just mass shootings or bus crashes or motor vehicle crashes,” said Theresa Pasquotti, trauma co-ordinator at¬†Chinook Regional Hospital. “It can be somebody at home, it can be somebody hiking, riding their bike — anybody really can be effected by bleeding.”

Facilitators in Lethbridge hope the course will help residents feel empowered and ready to help others who may be in crisis.

“They’re often the first responders, that is kind of really important,” Pasquotti said. “And I think that when people worry about doing something they always think, ‘Oh well, I’m going to make it worse or I maybe can’t do anything.’ And we’re teaching them some simple skills, really basic skills, on how to stop the bleeding and knowing that they can make a difference.”

“Normally, I would have just stood back and done nothing because I didn’t know what to do,” Roesler said. “I didn’t know you could save somebody.”

In this program, participants learn how to react in times of high trauma, perform the necessary steps when at the scene of an emergency and also about the importance of preventing someone from bleeding out.

“I didn’t know that that loss of blood was so important,” Roesler said. “You only have seven pints of blood and if you don’t have any blood in you when you get to the hospital, then they can’t save you.”

If there’s continued demand for the course, facilitators hope to host the two-hour class once a week throughout the summer and fall.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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