Nurses from the St. Mary Medical Center performed live demonstrations on how to stop bleeding from a critical injury Thursday outside the Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Long Beach State. The demonstration, called “Stop the Bleed,” was coordinated to bring attention to new mass-shooting survival kits the campus has installed on school grounds.
The demonstration, which was announced by the university several days before, coincided with the discovery of threatening graffiti found Wednesday in the women’s restroom stall across the hall from the Liberal Arts 2 that read, “School shooter tm [tomorrow] be warned 5-9.” Campus officials noted the importance in preparing for such emergencies.
“These kits come on a day when our campus is dealing with a recent threat and, unfortunately, emphasizes the need for this kind of planning and preparation,” said LBSU provost Brian Jersky.
LBSU and Dignity Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, partnered to bring the specialty first-aid kits to campus. The kits include tourniquets, gauze and compression bandages designed to stop bleeding before first-responders can arrive.
LBSU Chief of Police Fernando M. Solorzano said during the event’s press conference that their assessment of the investigation has allowed them to believe there is no imminent threat, but given the severity of the language, they have enhanced their police presence on campus.
“I can’t say I’ve seen it,” Solorzano said when questioned if the scare had affected student attendance. “But I have heard that some students were afraid, and I can fully understand.”
Despite efforts by campus officials to alleviate student concerns by means of email blasts and social media outreach, some professors cancelled class and many students opted to stay home. The campus was notably quieter. The St. Mary Medical staff were only able to wrangle a handful of students to instruct one-on-one.
The demonstration focused on two parts: instructing how to use a tourniquet and wound-packing, which is the process of packing a bleeding wound with gauze and applying pressure. The method is used in circumstances where a tourniquet cannot be applied, such as when the wound is too big or the injury is sustained on joints, like the knee or elbow.
The kits are located in 43 locations on campus alongside the automatic external defibrillators, which are used in the case of a heart-attack. The first-aid kits can be identified with green text and cross that read “trauma kit inside.”
“It’s pretty simple to use and they do have instructions with pictures inside,” said Edna Trancon, the trauma program manager at St. Mary Medical Center. “It can take about three to four minutes for paramedics to arrive. Within that time, if it’s a large wound, you can bleed out. We want to teach the public how to do this.”
Dignity Health-St Mary Medical Center CEO Carolyn Caldwell spoke at the presentation, saying that they intend to provide additional training throughout the community to teach basic methods to stop life-threatening casualties in the event of any disaster. Long Beach City College will also be installing these safety kits on their campus.
“We hope that people are comfortable enough to use this,” Trancon added. “It does save lives.”
This story was corrected at 6:06 Thursday to reflect the emergency kits had already been installed at the time the article was published.