Virginia Mason Franciscan hospital donates tourniquets to teachers in case of school shootings

Gig Harbor, Wash.-based St. Anthony Hospital has donated emergency backpacks containing tourniquets, medical equipment and medical gauze to every teacher in a local school district, NBC affiliate King5 reported Oct. 27. 

Dino Johnson, the hospital's chief operating officer, said parents from Gig Harbor's Peninsula School District contacted the hospital to ask for emergency medical equipment following the Oct. 25 shooting at a bowling alley and bar in Lewiston, Maine — the United States' 36th mass shooting since January, per the news station. 

"It's very unfortunate we have to plan for events of this nature, but we also want to be prepared," Mr. Johnson said. 

Quinton Hatch, MD, an Army surgeon who volunteers to teach tourniquet techniques to civilians, has been teaching teachers how to use the gear. Having that knowledge eases anxiety for people working in places where a shooting may occur, he told the news station. He is working with other physicians to make it a requirement that every teacher in the state have an emergency kit and be trained on how to use tourniquets. 

"You can do what's within your space, and this is something that's very tenable and easy and empowering, which I think is the most important thing," Dr. Hatch told the news station. "Is it everything that we can do? No. But it's something, and it's a start."

St. Anthony Hospital's donation totaled $48,000, according to the news station. The hospital is a member of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, based in Tacoma, Wash. 

The presidents and CEOs of more than 50 U.S. hospitals and health systems have joined the National Health Care CEO Council on Gun Violence Prevention & Safety to tackle the issue. Council members have signed the following promise: "Guns are now the leading cause of death for kids. This needs to change. As healthcare leaders, we pledge to use the collective power of our voices and resources to curb this epidemic, and make our communities safer for everyone."

Read more about the Council and healthcare executives' efforts to curb gun violence here.

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