Spectrum Health to offer tourniquet training

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health is taking a proactive approach to teach people how to use a tourniquet in an emergency situation.

The medical group is now pledging thousands of dollars to train people on the life-saving device, as it can prevent someone from bleeding to death.

“In reality, bystanders are usually the first responders,” said Laura Maclam, injury prevention and outreach coordinator for trauma services at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. “Whether it’s three minutes or six minutes or nine minutes that you’re waiting for the ambulance, if you can get care during that time, it can be the difference between life and death.”

Tourniquets have been used to stop heavy bleeding on the battle fields in World War II and the Korean War and they're still critical today. Statistics show that people can bleed to death in less than five minutes which is why knowing how to use a tourniquet is so important.

But not everyone knows how to use them which is why Spectrum is launching the program in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security's "Stop the Bleed" campaign. 

The training will show people how to respond to a bleeding emergency before medical professionals arrives and what it takes to stop the blood loss.

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