Froedtert teaching mass casualty response skills to civilians

'Stop the Bleed' campaign recently launched in WI
Posted at 3:35 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 11:39:00-04

An effort to train civilians to provide care in mass casualty events is underway in the Milwaukee area.

The national "Stop the Bleed" campaign is being spearheaded by Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin to teach Wisconsin residents the skills to stop bleeding in an emergency.

The campaign formed in response to the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn. in 2012. Right now, Froedtert is the only Wisconsin hospital teaching these skills. 

Dr. Marc de Moya is the chief of trauma at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin and says this should be part of basic first aid training.

"We’re talking about you know, school teachers, students, people who work in stadiums, we want everybody to know how to do this," he said.

The training involves three components: applying pressure to wounds, using gauze or cloth if needed to pack the wound and stop bleeding and applying a tourniquet.

Dr. de Moya says these skills can be used in everyday accidents or in more tragic mass casualty events.

"In the scenario where somebody is dying there’s not much worse than dying so there’s nothing you’re going to do to harm the patient by putting in gauze into a wound quite frankly," he said.

Froedtert and MCW is the only adult level 1 trauma center in the Milwaukee area, meaning they are equipped to handle mass casualty events and have to meet strict standards of care.

Dr. de Moya says they train for situations like the mass shooting in Las Vegas but even with training and pre-planning, hospitals can become overwhelmed.

More than 500 people were injured in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire on a crowded country music festival.

"We actually run exercises every year, sometimes multiple exercises to help streamline and coordinate this in a way that actually makes sense," said de Moya.

He says triage begins on scene and an incident commander will begin directing patients to various hospitals depending on their injuries.

"The injuries occur from not only the shooting but also the fleeing from the shooting and some of the trampling that occurs and blunt injuries," he said.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is also a level 1 trauma center. The other Wisconsin centers are in Madison, according to a DHS spokesperson. 

Anyone interested in learning more about the Stop the Bleed campaign, or to schedule training, please contact Dr. Chris Davis with Froedtert & MCW by emailng