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Turning Bystanders into First Responders

West Des Moines is the first city in Iowa to participate in the national Stop the Bleed program.


Stop the Bleed

West Des Moines is the first city in Iowa to participate in the national Stop the Bleed program. Stop the Bleed was launched in 2015 to train and equip people who might find themselves involved in an emergency situation where a person has serious bleeding. With the proper tools and knowledge, a person can stop life-threatening bleeding.

The Iowa Clinic is excited to partner with the City of West Des Moines Emergency Medical Services, UnityPoint Health-Des Moines Trauma Services and Mercy Des Moines Trauma Services to bring this program to the metro and offer training to citizens and businesses in West Des Moines as part of the City’s public education initiatives.

Before this program launched, bystanders were told to stay back and wait for medical professionals to arrive and help the injured. But the reality is, people are bleeding to death while bystanders are waiting for medics to arrive at the scene. Every second counts. “Research indicates that with minimal training and the appropriate tools, bystanders can be trained to become lifesavers. Our goal is to improve the public’s awareness and increase access to bleeding control kits. This awareness and training can truly mean the difference between life and death,” Iowa Clinic Trauma Surgeon, Dr. Richard Sidwell says of the program.

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