Learning to stop a bleed as important as learning CPR, expert says

If you’re between the ages of one and 44, the No. 1 risk factor to your life is an accident.

A car accident, a fall, a work injury, a gunshot or knife wound -- accidents are all too common and can happen to any of us.

As responsible citizens, we’re trained to help when someone is choking or when someone is having a heart attack, but far fewer of us know what to do when someone is bleeding. Doctors around the world want to change that. 

Two years ago, when a friend was being harassed outside a comedy club, Sidney Taylor jumped into action.  

“I’m always helping people … all my life,” Taylor said.

While helping his friend, Taylor was shot in the chest. When he got to the hospital, his heart stopped. 

“So many people were praying. I tell all the people; I got all these prayers to get a response like I did from up above was amazing,” Taylor said. 

Whether your wound is from a gunshot or a car accident, every second counts when you’re bleeding. 

“A person can bleed to death in five minutes. Why are people still dying of something that can be prevented?” said Dr. Laurie Punch, trauma surgeon at Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine. 

Punch trains people to respond to bleeds using kits with life-saving items. Gloves for protection and a tourniquet are essential. 

“You put a tourniquet on; there’s no more blood; you’re not going to bleed to death. It’s over,” Punch said. 

Blood-stopping gauze that helps clots form faster than normal is important too. 

Punch said training the public will ultimately save lives. 

“Bleeding control training is basically the CPR of today,” she said. 

Taylor gave up riding his beloved Harley for 18 months after he was shot. Recently, he climbed back on. 

As always, Taylor’s still helping. He’s now leading the charge to bring the training sessions to the biker community. 

The campaign to train the public to respond to bleeding events is called “Stop the Bleed."  As of last December, more than half a million people in 50 states and 90 countries have been trained.

To find a training to attend, visit www.bleedingcontrol.org.