Classroom Sessions at FDIC 2013: Blood Everywhere! How to Stop a Gusher

After the conclusion of Thursday’s General Session, FDIC 2013classroom sessions started back up, highlighted by Saratoga County (NY) EMS Coordinator and Fire Engineering Technical Editor Mike McEvoy‘s “Blood Everywhere! How to Stop a Gusher,” a fascinating, at times grotesque, presentation aimed at all EMS students and firefighters interested in more than just extinguishing fires.

McEvoy’s interactive, highly informative session was ideal for preparing future first responders for the potentially horrific scenes they will encounter on a variety of calls and how they should deal with the more serious injuries on these runs. Clotting, lacerations, severed arteries, blood pressure ,and the consequences of severe blood loss and how each must be approached were all touched on in a manner that both the layman and the skilled, veteran EMT could grasp.

McEvoy’s slideshow, although graphic to some, showed numerous real life injuries which McEvoy explained in detail how to treat each. He also focused on the amount of blood (from the five liters of blood flowing in the average adult) that the average adult human can lose before his or her life becomes threatened.

“Can you die from losing a liter and a half? Probably not. Now we lose two liters…you’re heart rate is very tachycardic, not really REALLY, but more so than we’d normally say. Tachycardia of 120-plus for an adult, you’re breathing quickly, you can’t slow your breathing down no matter how hard you try, and your blood pressure is definitely decreased; not bottomed out, but it’s decreased. Will you die from two liters of blood loss? You might.”


McEvoy also talked about advances made regarding treatment of bleeding from the military to the common emergency room (ER)

“The problem in the military is that a lot of bleeding is preventable, and the problem in our world is that that bleeding is a huge cause of EMS calls and people going to the emergency department. Ten million people a year go to the ER because they are bleeding, and a lot of them come through EMS. So if you think about that, we have a whole bunch of advances that we’ve made in controlling bleeding in the operating room and in the military that we can bring out into the civilian world.”

He continued, “The very first thing that you have to do when you’re looking at a bleeder is find where the blood’s coming from.”

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