Stop the Bleed® traces its origins to the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Hartford, CT, on December 2012. A few months later, a concerned local trauma surgeon and Regent of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, FACS, requested to review victims’ autopsy records. Results showed that the victims died from severe bleeding. Severe bleeding, that if controlled, could have probably kept them from going into shock until emergency help arrived on the scene.
This knowledge led trauma surgeons from the American College of Surgeons to form a group with other experts in the fields of emergency medical care, government, and law enforcement to discuss the matter. The group met several times and developed expert recommendations on how to improve the rate of survival for people with severe bleeding. Because two of these early meetings were held in Hartford, their recommendations became known as the Hartford Consensus.
From the Hartford Consensus, a national emergency response goal emerged to improve victim survival following mass shootings and other intentional acts of mass violence by empowering trained bystanders to take life-saving action if quickly needed—regardless of the situation or cause of severe bleeding. Stop the Bleed, a national public awareness campaign, was launched shortly thereafter, in October of 2015 by the White House, with a call to action to begin training more people to become immediate responders until professional help arrives.*
Since then, the Stop the Bleed program has continued to grow as we continue to witness or experience unexpected violence and injuries in our daily lives—on the highway, in the workplace, at schools, and in other public places where we should be able to gather with an expectation of safety. The ACS Committee on Trauma first publicly introduced bleeding control training courses for its members in October 2016, and since then hundreds of other medical professionals have trained to become course instructors. Today, those instructors are focused on training people in all walks of life to become immediate responders through the Stop the Bleed course. As of September 2019, more than 1 million people around the world have been trained to save a life through the ACS Stop the Bleed program.
If you’d like to learn more about the origins of Stop the Bleed, read the proceedings document of the Hartford Consensus online. It is called Strategies to Enhance Survival in Active Shooter and Intentional Mass Casualty Events: A Compendium.
Through our Stop the Bleed course, you’ll gain the ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding and intervene effectively. The person next to a bleeding victim may be the one who’s most likely to save him or her. Take the course and become empowered to make a life or death difference when a bleeding emergency occurs. Stop the Bleed. Save a Life!