In wake of Orlando shooting, AMA encourages first responders to learn tourniquet use

The American Medical Association House of Delegates approved a new policy to encourage hemorrhage control training for first responders and the public to save more trauma victims' lives, according to USA Today.

The decision comes shortly after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, when a gunman opened fire on an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people. The AMA's report indicates that active shooter situations have occurred in 40 out of 50 states and in the District of Columbia, resulting in hundreds of deaths and major injuries for survivors.

Lenworth Jacobs, director of the Trauma Institute at Hartford (Conn.) Hospital, believes proper hemorrhage control training is critical for saving lives after one calls 911 and is then waiting for first responders to arrive during an emergency situation.

As someone can bleed out in as little as five minutes, Mr. Jacobs believes better knowledge and access to tourniquets will encourage bystanders to take action. He would like to see tourniquets next to every automated defibrillator and installed into new cars.

The AMA cites various military studies that show the effectiveness of tourniquet use and hemorrhage control training.

"After implementing hemorrhage control training to help victims of trauma, the military saw a significant decrease in the number of deaths caused by uncontrolled bleeding in these patients," said Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, AMA Board Member and U.S. Navy combat veteran. "We believe that by equipping the public, police and others who are first on the scene of a traumatic event with training and supplies to control bleeding, we will also be able to help save more trauma patients."

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