This week, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., paired up with U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, this week to bring out the “Prevent Blood Loss with Emergency Equipment Devices Act” (the Prevent BLEEDing Act) which would ensure there are more Bleeding Control Kits (BCKs) in public places across the nation.
Hastings, one of the two co-chairmen of the Florida delegation, weighed in on Monday as to why he was championing the legislation which would amend the Homeland Security Act passed back in 2002 to use Homeland Security Grant Program funds for BCKs and other measures to prevent blood loss.
“Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their lives from traumatic incidents, including workplace accidents, vehicle crashes, and gun violence. In situations involving traumatic blood loss, a victim can bleed to death in a matter of minutes, but with the right training and access to bleeding control supplies, these deaths are often preventable,” said Hastings. “When you walk into a public building, you frequently see automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) displayed prominently. Citizens who learn to use the devices, or to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or the Heimlich maneuver, are empowered to save lives during emergency situations.
“In today’s world, we must include training to prevent blood loss as well. For this reason, this legislation will help to expand access to preventative blood loss supplies in places like schools, libraries, places of worship, concert venues, shopping malls, and any other place where people gather. I thank my colleague Dr. Brad Wenstrup for joining me in championing this effort, and look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure its passage,” Hastings added.
Wenstrup cited his service in the military and in the medical sector in support of the bill.
“I know firsthand as a combat surgeon and Iraq War veteran the difference that bleeding management tools can make in saving lives. Expanding public access to first aid accessories like tourniquets and clotting bandages add the critical minutes needed to get victims to the next level of care. Understanding how to use these tools is simple and should be taught alongside first aid education like basic life support (CPR and AED use) so that all Americans may have the ability to help one another. I thank Representative Hastings for his leadership on this critical legislation,” Wenstrup.
The bill has the support of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 214,000 people die every year from traumatic incidents such as vehicle crashes, shootings, natural disasters, and workplace accidents. Injuries involving traumatic blood loss can lead to death within five minutes, and are oftentimes preventable,” Hastings’ office noted. “The Stop the Bleed national awareness campaign was implemented in 2015 to train and equip everyday Americans with the skills to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. To date, Stop the Bleed has trained nearly 125,000 Americans anti blood-loss skills, empowering them to help prevent unnecessary deaths from blood loss.”
U.S. Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Tex., is also cosponsoring the bill which was sent to the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday. So far there is no version of the bill in the U.S. Senate.