Patterson High freshmen had an opportunity to learn a skill that might save a life recently, when four instructors from Doctors Medical Center (DMC) and two instructors from Patterson District Ambulance presented a program at PHS called Stop the Bleed.

Bleeding is the number one preventable cause of death following traumatic injury. The 207 students learned advanced bleeding control techniques, which can save lives during the minutes before emergency medical personnel can arrive at the scene. The curriculum is based on the techniques which are taught to military, law enforcement and emergency medical personnel.

“Unfortunately, anyone can find themselves faced with situations where massive bleeding occurs… Performing simple first aid skills taught in this course to control bleeding prior to EMS arriving could be the difference between life and death,” Rena Lepard, RN, said via email. Lepard is injury prevention coordinator for trauma services for DMC, as well as Safe Kids Stanislaus coordinator.

In response to the 2012 tragedy in Sandy Hook and other multiple tragedies, leaders from law enforcement, the federal government, and the medical community met to discuss ways to improve survivability from mass casualty events. The goal is to equip civilian bystanders with the skills and basic tools to stop uncontrolled bleeding in an emergency situation.

Basic training in bleeding control principles will allow bystanders to provide immediate aid until first responders are able to take over care of an injured person. There may be a delay between the time of injury and the time a first responder is on the scene and able to provide care. Without bystander intervention in these circumstances, preventable deaths will occur.  

The event was coordinated by Doctors Medical Center. For more information, please visit the Stop the Bleed website at

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