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Middle Schoolers Learn to “Control the Bleed”

Representatives from the Healthcare, Innovations and Sciences (H.I.S.) Centre in Bulverde visited every Comal ISD middle school in February to teach CPR, tourniquet and 911 protocols. Pictured from left are Kelsey Brown, Elizabeth Dillard and Ashley Hoppe.

Comal ISD partnered with Bulverde’s Healthcare, Innovations and Sciences (H.I.S.) in February  to teach some 5,642 middle-schoolers at seven schools how to “Control the Bleed,” part of a national initiative called “Stop the Bleed” that teaches bystanders how to deal with medical emergencies.

The goal is to teach students “to see something and do something.”

“Control the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives,” H.I.S. Business Director and Program Facilitator Ashley Hoppe said. “We couple this lesson with a hands-only CPR lesson. The main purpose of the lesson is to empower students to be able to see something and do something. We emphasize our effort to try to take the shock factor off of an emergency situation. Knowledge is power.”

Hoppe said middle school students are genuinely engaged and eager to pass the information on to family members and friends.

Stop the Bleed was taught during physical education, athletics and dance classes.

Comal ISD implemented Control the Bleed four years ago in response to the increase in school shootings nationwide, says Courtney Nesloney, RN, the district’s health services coordinator. Tourniquets and control the bleed stations were purchased and placed at all Comal ISD campuses at that time.

In addition to teaching middle school students these important lessons, ninth grade students receive instruction in their biology classes; and CPR training is required by the State of Texas for all students before they graduate from high school. Comal ISD staff members are trained annually as well by campus nurses on tourniquet use and bleeding control, and school nurses have attended several training sessions on casualty and trauma care to better be prepared for any events that may occur on campus or in the community.

What Students Learned

The CPR lesson was broken into three simple steps for students.

Step 1 – “Hey, hey, are you OK?” Students learned to verify whether or not the person who is ill needs CPR or some other medical assistance.

Step 2 – Dial 911. Students learned about the importance of the 911 system and how it works.

Step 3 – Push hard. Push fast. This is the hands-only compression CPR lesson. Students learned that good, quality compressions are important to give someone who needs CPR.

After discussing the three steps, each student tried a hands-on CPR lesson using a manikin.

To learn how to “control the bleed,”  students learned about tourniquet use, application and easy to remember tips such as, “If it won’t quit, tourniquet,” and “high and tight.”

The simple act of knowing how to use a tourniquet can save a life, Hoppe said, especially since students may encounter emergencies in their everyday lives from household and outdoor accidents to recreational and extreme accidents.

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