Northwell Health led Stop the Bleed training for hundreds of students at Kennedy High School on May 12. The lifesaving training taught students how to staunch bleeding from trauma in the critical moments before paramedics arrive at the scene, which has shown to often be the difference between life and death.
The training was possible thanks to the effort of Sydney Brewer, a junior at the school. Brewer led a fundraising effort and purchased 60 Stop the Bleed kits for her school – and was instrumental in getting staff from North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset to come teach the students how to use them.
“I’m the same age as the kids in the Sandy Hook shooting, and I knew I had to do something about it,” said Brewer, who is 17. “It makes me so proud that my hard work has paid off and now I can help people help other people.”
Gun violence is on the rise across the country, which is what spurred Brewer on. There have already been more than 200 mass shootings this year, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are injured or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Additionally, this May marks the fifth annual National Stop the Bleed Month, which highlights the importance of learning this critical skill.
Students were shown how to pack wounds to stop bleeding and apply tourniquets. They also learned that gun violence is not the only situation in which this training can be used. Critical wounds can occur during car crashes, falls and when doing yard work. A person with a severe wound can bleed to death in about three minutes, which is often before paramedics or police can arrive on the scene. Knowing how to stop bleeding from an open wound can save lives.
“Learning how to stop bleeding is a vital skill that can save lives,” said Matthew Bank, MD, executive director of the Northwell Trauma Institute. “This type of grassroots event is exciting and very feasible. The Northwell Trauma Institute is happy to collaborate with anyone to set up Stop the Bleed training events.”
Northwell doctors, nurses and EMTs taught more than 500 students at Kennedy during the day-long session, and are teaching hundreds more on May 19. When they’re done, the entire student body will be trained in stopping bleeding.
Planning is underway to potentially bring these kids and training to the district’s other buildings as well.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our students,” said Principal Gerard Owenburg. “Getting the kits was one thing. But having the training and the students having the knowledge has really brought it to another level.”