Since January, almost 200 UNE students have been certified in Stop the Bleed (STB) training, a national campaign by the American College of Surgeons to educate bystanders in the use of tourniquets to stop potentially fatal mass bleedings. Thanks to first-year UNE Physician Assistant student Gregory Blackman, two STB training sessions have been held at UNE in the past six months.
While at the Northern New England Athletic Trainers’ conference in June 2018, Blackman heard about STB training and realized its incredible value. “After doing some research, I made the comparison that this training is equivalent to CPR [in that it is] life-saving and simple,” he said. Blackman also realized that STB training is not just important in its own right but can be a crucial complement to CPR training in certain circumstances. As he explained, “If someone is bleeding out without a pulse, you cannot perform CPR, as you would only accelerate their demise.”
Blackman’s undergraduate background is in athletic training (AT), and because of his licensure as an AT, he was able to become a STB instructor. His next challenge was trying to figure out how to get a class going here at UNE, at which time he turned to his peers. Through his involvement with the Interprofessional Student Advisory Team (IPSAT) and Interprofessional Geriatric Education Program (IGEP), he made connections with a group of students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM).
“[IGEP is] involved with some of the COM students. I was talking about Stop the Bleed a little bit with some of them at one of the events. They were interested and brought it to emergency medicine club and surgery club on the Biddeford Campus,” Blackman explained. He added that this wide-spread support and interest was energizing.
Together, this group of diverse interprofessional students was able to plan UNE’s inaugural STB training on the Biddeford Campus in January for about 120 students from different disciplines. Blackman served as one of the instructors.
A second STB training took place on our Portland Campus in April. It was open to all UNE students. In total, five instructors taught fifty students.
In the future, Blackman hopes to see these trainings become regular community events that are also open to the public. In the meantime, he works on a mini-grant with a group of COM students in hopes to continue to fund future STB trainings. “We can all do this together [here at UNE], and then we can branch out and have a community impact.”