If a student gets hurt, what’s past the band-aid? What do you do then?
“I realized how unprepared we were for an emergency. It will not happen to my team again.”
-School Superintendent after a major emergency hit one of his schools
In 2016, two students and one teacher were wounded after a teenager fired rounds into a schoolyard. 6-year old Jacob Hall died. The first-grader lost 75 percent of his blood from a bullet, which pierced his femoral artery in his thigh, officials said. He was rushed to Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital, where he had multiple surgeries after going into cardiac arrest. The school nurse was not trained in the use of tourniquets or control of massive hemorrhage. Who at your school is?
Massive hemorrhage from a femoral artery laceration can generally be controlled with the proper application of a tourniquet. If school nurses, playground attendants, and teachers were trained, our children would be safer. We cannot imagine anything more nightmarish than being an educator dedicated to children and watching them unnecessarily die from a treatable wound.
Our schools should be safe places for children to learn.
When teenagers shot high school students at Springfield High School, our country mourned. But none of this is new. The earliest recorded schoolhouse active violent incident was in Greencastle, Pennsylvania in 1764 where the schoolteacher and ten children were killed. Although obviously occurring under very different circumstances, there were additional events occurring at schools throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Not until the University of Texas massacre in 1966 where 17 were killed, 31 injured, did we start seeing modern-day increases in the number of casualties. In 1998, the attention turned from high schools and universities to elementary schools where our most vulnerable play in schoolyards. Not all wounds can be managed by trained teachers with big hearts, but those that can be must be.
While Run-Hide-Fight is a plan, what if we had a more complete plan?
What if we trained our teachers to TREAT?
The White House launched a Stop the Bleed campaign in 2015, encouraging every American to get trained to stop massive hemorrhage, to obtain tourniquet training and save lives. Teachers, educators, and youth leaders should be at the forefront of this movement.
“No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the blood loss. Those nearest to someone with life-threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care. According to a recent National Academies of Science study, trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 46. Remember to be aware of your surroundings and move yourself and the injured person to safety, if necessary.” – US DHS Stop the Bleed, https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed
We’ve developed a 2.5 hour course specially for teachers to learn an overview of this material. You can take the course online, when and where you have time. The lectures are engaging, use diagrams and photographs to clearly explain the science and the tactics behind what you should do. What if your school had a trauma kit colocated with the AED and instead of just learning CPR, you learned how to save the lives of kids from a more frequent cause of death?
Mike Shertz, MD is a board-certified, practicing Emergency Medicine Physician and former Army Special Forces medic. He has trained individuals all over the world and brings you real-world examples and experience in an easy to absorb course. You’ll learn the science behind the techniques so you really understand what needs to be done and can do it under stress, as well as how to keep yourself and those you care about safe while you treat casualties. You’ll see lectures followed by hands-on skills demonstrations. With a small investment, you could train right alongside the videos from your living room or computer this weekend. By Monday, you could walk back into your school, look each student in the eye, knowing you could provide a holistic idea of how to keep your students safe, and how to treat them if they needed to you to do so.
To see effective use of direct pressure to stop bleeding and for an improvised technique you can use on massive hemorrhage with kids, look at the direct clamshell pressure and pediatric improvised tourniquet videos and more in our articles archive. To see a middle schooler teaching her classmates some of these basic skills, you can check out the blog.
For a teacher’s perspective, Deepwaterhappy.com has some blog articles about a Florida teacher’s preparations for her classroom. She’s also got some great resources on how teachers can get first aid kits to deal with massive hemorrhage for their classrooms. For those wanting more in-depth training, consider taking Tactical Casualty Care, our 7.5 hour online course.
What our teacher-students say about the curriculum:
Informative & Interesting
I just finished the course! I am a teacher, working from home during COVID-19. I am a Registered Nurse and middle school Health Science teacher. In this day of school/mass shootings, this course is a valuable tool that I hope I'll never need to use. I appreciated that actual photos were used to help desensitize me to the nature of what a real life trauma may look like.
In this day and age, it's so important to have these life-saving skills. I feel more confident in my ability to help should the need ever arise. The course was well organized and the information was presented in a very clear and understandable manner.
I wanted the best available, most realistic and comprehensive training.
I'm a high school teacher, and now I have a fairly new responsibility of bleeding control knowledge under "other duties as assigned."
I wanted the best available, most realistic and comprehensive training. After taking the course himself, as well as several others, my boyfriend decided this was the best course on the market for my additional responsibility at school. I have to agree; due to the training I received, I have successfully dealt with a 911 call, another lesser emergency, and have been able to identify and insist on the removal of 800 counterfeit tourniquets from our school classrooms.
Without the training from Crisis Medicine, I would not have been as prepared to confidently address these emergencies. I hope not to use these skills, but I know I can if my students and colleagues need.
It is important to learn tactical care techniques as we are the first line of protection for our students.
I completed the Tactical Casualty Care course both in-person and online. Being an educator at an elementary school, I think it is important to learn these tactical care techniques as we are the first line of protection for our students. The techniques can be used in any type of emergency situation earthquake, fire, and during active shooter situations. Mike is a great instructor providing information that is easy to understand, remember and replicate. I feel confident that I can help save a life!
I really enjoyed the no-nonsense teaching
There is very little education available out there for active people (family, job) who are not available to take classes in a real school setting beyond what the Red Cross or AHA offers (BLS, First Aid). Seminars are expensive and not always available within a 300-mile radius. As a teacher and gun owner, basic trauma first aid/TECC is important. I have also invested in plenty of supplies to fill several IFAKs, and I am very familiar with commercial TECC supplies.
I was pleasantly surprised by the circumspect tone of the videos and the cautious approach to gear and recommendations (chest seals, for example). All in all, I was very satisfied by the course. Thank you.
Exactly what I needed to understand the topic in an online course
No one wants to think about situations like this, especially not when you work with young children. However, it is important to me to be prepared with the hope that I'll never have to use what I learned in this course. Having no medical background myself, Dr. Shertz made this course digestible and engaging to someone like me. The pictures, while graphic, were exactly what I needed to understand the topic in an online course where you can't ask questions. His pace is perfect, and he covers all important topics with no "fluff." My free time as an educator is valuable and short, and I feel that this course was an excellent use of it. While it isn't something I necessarily want to feel comfortable about, I do feel like in an emergency, I could remain calm, remember the material, and maybe even help save a life. I highly recommend this course to anyone, but especially educators.
Our School leadership team learned crucial skills in a clear and accessible manner
As a school administrator with student safety as my top priority, I felt compelled to do something to prepare for the worst. Mike's course taught our leadership team crucial skills in a clear, hands-on, rational, and accessible manner. Mike's approach delivers Stress Inoculation for the learners, which I deeply valued. The topics are intense and real. Thinking through scenarios in advance can only serve us better in a real crisis. My team feels prepared, calm, and knowledgeable after spending the time in this course. I strongly believe that this approach to community health is one that any school should pursue. The learned skills are as good for a crisis as they are for a serious playground injury.
Thanks much Crisis Medicine and please keep up the good work.
This course has been such a valuable experience
This course has been such a valuable experience for me and my team as we are updating and advancing our emergency preparedness for our school. Factually and realistically Mike has taught us how to mentally prepare for a crisis situation, manage staff, students and parents and certainly how to provide more than just basic first aid. Mike’s years of experience in this field become evident in his knowledge and style of teaching. Both helped us tremendously in retaining the information and building our own knowledge. Crisis Medicine has gone above and beyond to provide us with the critical information and supplies we needed to prepare for emergency situations in a school setting. Our school community feels more prepared because of it and we are grateful for their ongoing support!