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News from the American College of Surgeons

For Immediate Release


Sally Garneski

Dan Hamilton

May is our nation’s first ever National Stop the Bleed Month

A month-long national observance offers the public training courses in bleeding control techniques, with May 23 highlighted as National Stop the Bleed Day.

CHICAGO (April 30, 2019): May is the first ever National Stop the Bleed Month, featuring training courses around the country to teach bleeding control techniques to the general public and empower them with the skills and knowledge to assist severely bleeding persons. During this month, an additional focus will be directed to May 23, which is the nation’s second annual National Stop the Bleed Day.

In many cases, bleeding is a preventable cause of death. The ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding and the ability to intervene effectively can save a person’s life. Whether a bleeding injury is the result of a home accident or  shooting, one person who is on the scene, at the right time, and who has the right skills can make a life or death difference.

Often times the person who is right beside a bleeding victim may be the person who’s most likely to save them. That’s why one of the goals of the Stop the Bleed® initiative is to turn civilians into “immediate responders”—a term that describes the first person at the scene of an injury. This person is rarely a trained medical provider.

“The goal of Stop the Bleed training is simple: to keep the blood inside of the body,” said Lenworth Jacobs, MD, FACS, Medical Director of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Stop the Bleed program, and Chair of the Hartford Consensus. “A person who is seriously injured can bleed to death in five to 10 minutes, before professional emergency care arrives. That’s why the course teaches people bleeding-control methods developed by the military and first responders to help them become immediate responders.”

The ACS, working in partnership with many other organizations, has now made the training needed to address such incidents easily available to the public. Through nationwide advocacy efforts, the ACS is continually working to ensure that all people have access to training opportunities and can become immediate responders. National Stop the Bleed Month represents the widest rollout of Stop the Bleed training across the country to date.

During May:

  • This nationwide campaign will highlight the importance of Stop the Bleed training and provide the public with information and education through local fire, EMS, and health care professionals.
  • FREE Stop the Bleed courses will be offered to the public, furthering the goal of the ACS to train everyone in the U.S. about what to do during a bleeding emergency.
  • Many of our registered instructors will participate in this grassroots effort, leading more than 2,700 courses in the U.S, with additional course offerings in other countries.

Stop the Bleed traces its origins to the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School shootings on December 14, 2012. Shortly afterward, the ACS partnered with law enforcement and other interested national organizations to develop the Hartford Consensus (where the initial meetings convened in Hartford, Conn.). From this group, an emergency response goal emerged to improve survival following mass shootings and other intentional acts of mass violence by empowering civilians to take life-saving action when the need arises, regardless of the situation or cause of the significant bleeding. Stop the Bleed, a national public awareness campaign was later launched in October of 2015 by the White House, with a call to action to begin training more people to become immediate responders.

As people continue to experience unexpected injuries in their daily lives, and with violence a persistent threat to their lives in the workplace, schools, and other public places where they gather with an expectation of safety, the Stop the Bleed program has continued to grow since the ACS Committee on Trauma first publicly introduced training courses for its members in October 2016.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in Stop the Bleed movement in the past few years, with training courses offered in a variety of venues, including firehouses, hospitals, and schools. Our trauma surgeons have even trained numerous members of Congress and their staff members on Capitol Hill. We hope that everyone interested in being trained will take the time to attend a course,” said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director.

“The month of May presents an extended opportunity for people to take a bleeding control course to learn a basic life-saving skill that can truly make the difference in an emergency situation. Many of our dedicated volunteer instructors are devoting additional time to teaching courses in May. If you don’t see a course offered locally, please call your local trauma center and ask them to add a training course in your community soon,” said Eileen Bulger, MD, FACS, Chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma, and Chief of Trauma at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle.

The program currently has more than 49,700 instructors from all 50 states and over 90 countries across the globe.

To find a class, visit


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About the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT)
The ACS COT was formed in 1922 and has put forth a continuous effort to improve care of injured patients in our society. Today trauma activities are administered through an 86-member committee overseeing a field force of more than 3,500 Fellows who are working to develop and implement meaningful programs for trauma care in local, regional, national, and international arenas. With programs such as its Bleeding Control Basic Course, the COT strives to improve the care of injured patients before, during, and after hospitalization.

About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit