Stop the Bleeding: School district increases amount of Stop the Bleeding kits within school


Cady Armstrong

Last year, each school in the Carmel Clay School District received a “Stop the Bleed” kit that goes inside every AED box in their school. These kits hold supplies to control bleeding from a traumatic injury. 

According to Meredith Haines, Freshman Center nurse and registered nurse, each kit includes a tourniquet, gauze, a sharpie to write the time you applied a tourniquet, gloves, a survival blanket, instructional card and a dressing. 

These kits are for a single use and help control bleeding until paramedics arrive. School Resource Officers (SROs), nurses and administrators know how to use these kits. 

“The district requires that five people are trained on how to use them. We meet that requirement plus a several,” said Haines. “For now, SROs, nurses, and administrators are trained. Next year, the district will be offering free training to all staff members in the district that are willing to take the course. Then, even more people will be trained and know how to use them.”

Increased access to training courses are among some of the changes CHS plans to make in a new effort to improve the utility of the “Stop the Bleed” kits.

D.J. Schoeff, supervisor of the School Resource Officers and Police Sergeant, said that CHS is also increasing the amount of kits available in and around the building.

Schoeff said, “We are training more people on how to use the ‘Stop the Bleed’ kits and increasing the amount of kits at CHS so we have greater accessibility to them. We hope that students and staff never see them but they are there if we need them. If in the event that someone were to experience a major trauma, our ability to respond to that is much better. Although we have fantastic nurses, seconds can count and sometimes it’s necessary for other people to be able to respond.”

Deion Ziwawo, Speaker of the House, said that the changes to these kits make him feel safer. 

Ziwawo said, “These kits are a great addition to the school. Any other efforts to that work to protect our students and staff in bad situations is such a beneficial contribution to the school.”

The first aid training is through the Bleeding Control Organization. This organization is an initiative of the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus. It was created to provide credible information on how to stop and control bleeding. There is more information about the training program and how to become certified on their website. 

Haines said, “Training everyday citizens is the key to preventing death by bleeding. We don’t ever want to think about a mass shooting or tragedy happening but it happens and we need to be prepared. Even if you don’t know what a tourniquet is, just learning about how to stop the bleeding with a sweatshirt could help save a life.”

Additionally, “Stop the Bleeding” is a national awareness campaign launched by the White House in 2015. It is also a call to action to bystanders to become trained to help in the event of a bleeding emergency.

According to Haines, the district purchased these kits as a precautionary measure after the Noblesville West Middle School shooting. Now, with the improvements made, more people at CHS know how to use them and the accessibility rates are high. 

“After the Noblesville West shooting, we started looking at ways to improve our safety measures. Carmel decided as a district that we want safety to be our number one priority. We worked with other districts and once Noblesville got (the kits), we said we would learn from them,” said Haines. “It hit way too close to home and talking with the health department, we decided this would be a good, preventable way to control a situation if we were ever in one where someone had a life threatening injury.”

Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton said, “Safety comes in layers, and we continue to layer and layer as much as possible to provide the safest environment for our students.”

Haines said, “Everyone now has access to the ‘Stop the Bleed’ kits. AED boxes are never locked. All you have to do is open the door. Death by bleeding can be prevented. Now we can stop the bleeding before the paramedics even arrive. This is something a nurse can do or an everyday citizen. These kits are simple to use but I think a lot of people don’t know how to use what’s inside.”

CHS has five of these kits located at various locations throughout the school.  There is one in the freshman nurse’s office, the health center, one by door one in the lobby, one in the natatorium office, and one in the varsity gym on the upper level. They are in each AED box and have signs outside of every location. These kits can be used at any time of day, and are accessible to anyone. 

According to Skeens-Benton, every administrator has their own “Stop the Bleed” kit as well.

Ziwawo said, “Of course, I’d never want to be in a situation where I might need one, but knowing that there are kits around the school to help if a bad situation would happen when the school nurses aren’t around definitely makes me feel a lot safer.”

Haines said, “I think that every school should have them and eventually every state in the United States will have a ‘Stop the Bleed’ program in their school.”