Med kits to help in case of mass casualty events

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — We’re used to seeing defibrillators on the walls in public places, but here in Hartford Hospital there’s something else right next to it. It’s called a bleeding control bag.

“Open it and in here are shears, gloves, tourniquets, hemostatic dressings,” explained Hartford Hospital Vice President Dr. Lenworth Jacobs.

The idea was born right here at Hartford Hospital, and the Boston Marathon showed everybody how good the idea was. Think of all those people who lost limbs, and lost blood very quickly as a result.

“We’ve learned that the simple use and deployment and training in the use of tourniquets in these mass casualty events, does indeed save lives,” Hartford Hospital President Dr. Stuart Markowitz said.

It’s terrible we have to think about these things, but we do. Imagine there’s a bombing and crucial minutes go by until emergency responders can get to the injured. Imagine an active shooter scenario, where emergency responders can’t get to the wounded right away. It’s up to people like you and me to help out and use one of these – and it’s not that hard.

Dr. Jacobs demonstrated with a hand that he described as severely injured and massively bleeding. “You quickly put this on, cinch it down. This is Velcro so it sticks to itself. This is a windlass, when you tighten it, it squeezes on the vessels and stops the bleeding and you can probably feel it really biting you now.”

When the bleeding stops, it’s tight enough, and the victim has a better chance of living, and maybe even keeping the hand.

The bags are in every lobby here at the hospital, and they may be in more places soon.

“I think that what we’re going to see is these will be deployed in public spaces, as we’ve seen defibrillators deployed,” Dr. Markowitz said. “We’ll see them at restaurants and airports, public forums throughout the entire country….”

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