GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan health care organization is pushing to make tourniquet kits more widely available in public spaces.

Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids is participating in the Department of Homeland Security’s “Stop the Bleed” campaign, The Grand Rapids Press reported .

The program aims to teach bystanders how to respond to a bleeding emergency before medical professionals arrives.

Spectrum Health Butterworth hospital is offering low-cost or free training sessions for companies and groups on how to properly use a tourniquet. The sessions typically last 60 to 90 minutes.

“This is training that probably everyone should receive,” said Laura Maclam, the hospital’s injury prevention and outreach coordinator for trauma services. “Just like we teach CPR, people need to know how to stop active bleeding.”

A person can bleed to death in less than five minutes, Maclam added. “So often, the first-responder is the person standing next to you,” she said.

A tourniquet is used to stop the blood flow to a wound on the arm or leg. Correctly applying a tourniquet may not be intuitively obvious, Maclam said.

“A properly applied tourniquet may actually hurt,” she said.

Spectrum Health Foundation has donated $10,000 to the campaign. The funds will be used to supply the organization’s hospitals with kits, training materials and dummy legs.

Tourniquet kits typically cost $60 to $70.

Information from: The Grand Rapids Press,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.