Basic Trauma Care: The Essential Skill for Life
Every year the CDC publishes the top ten causes of death that included the usual; heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. Looking closer at the data, “accidents” and “intentional self-harm” also made the list. Looking even further, within the top five leading causes of death for Americans under age 44 also includes homicide.
Stop to consider those statistics; the top causes of death through middle age are you, another person, or an accident ending your life early. You want to live longer? Learn basic trauma care.
The last two times I’ve personally applied a tourniquet I was on duty. One was an attempted suicide where a man was found by his girlfriend in a pool of blood in the front yard, right after he used a steak knife to rip though his forearm. We arrived to find him next to a pile of blood-soaked bathroom towels that failed to control the bleeding. The second was an intoxicated female who locked herself out of her apartment and attempted to punch through the window to reach the door lock from the inside. Her boyfriend attempted to use a belt to stop the bleeding with little success. Both cases involved a loved one caring for a victim the best they could with no knowledge on how to help them with near fatal results.
Learning basic trauma care falls squarely on the same list of “essential life skills” that everyone can and should learn. Learn when and how to use a firearm safely, how to operate a fire extinguisher, how to perform effective CPR, learn to change a tire, etc. It’s easy enough to say you should just call the police, the fire department, EMS, AAA, and so on, but reality often gets in the way. Try dialing 911 with bloody fingers on a touchscreen phone home alone and just after ripping a hole in your thigh with a circular saw. Try waiting for EMS when a loved one is shot at a concert and bleeds out while you hunker down behind cover.
Just a few hours of simple instruction from a qualified instructor can make all the difference. Learn the skills, carry the gear, and rely on you. Your life or someone you care about may depend on it.
-Jon Grabo, instructor, Endeavor