Kathy Cowan said it was good to get a refresher on deep wound treatment during a community class Friday.

Cowan, who works as a registered nurse at Sky Lakes Medical Center, said she had experience packing heavier wounds before, a task many hopefully won’t ever need to partake in.

But in the event that they do, she had some advice:

“Don’t be afraid to get in there,” Cowan said. “You don’t have to be aggressive but you have to be thorough.”

Cowan and several others attended a special community health class Friday to learn more on how to respond to a traumatic event, properly pack wounds and apply tourniquets in the event of life-threatening incidents.

Could be anyone, anywhere

Titled “Stop the Bleed,” the course is part of a national initiative started by the American College of Surgeons to increase the efficiency of community responses during traumatic incidents.

Friday’s class in Klamath Falls was taught by Oregon Health and Science University M.D. Candidate Jacob Weber, who is slated to graduate in 2019.

Weber wanted the course to serve as a reminder that anyone at any time could become a first responder in a pinch. With proper training, they could save the life of trauma victims in events such as auto collisions, mass shootings or bombings.

“That’s really what this class is aimed at,” Weber said. “To stop the bleed to give people more time to get to the hospital.”

Continued efforts

Weber reviewed the “ABCs of bleeding management,” which consists of calling 911, locating the bleeding and then controlling it through compression by properly applying pressure to the wound.

In the case of deeper injuries, Weber said it was important to make sure that gauze or cloth used is packed well into the wound. It is then important to apply firm, steady pressure until medics arrive and take over.

“Knowing what to do in these situations could make the difference between a really good outcome and a really bad outcome,” Weber said.

Stacey Holmes, trauma program manager at Sky Lakes, said hospitals across the state were aiming to get at least 50,000 additional lay people trained as the “Stop the Bleed” initiative continues.

There are no immediate plans in place for offerings following Friday’s class, but Holmes and Weber did say there would be other courses in the future.

“They’re doing this all over Oregon,” Holmes said.

More information on “Stop the Bleed,” courses and partners can be found online at bleedingcontrol.org.