Jacqueline Brady, RN, pediatric trauma program manager at Vdant Medical Center, holds a Stop the Bleed kit, which contains tourniquets, gauze and more. She holds the kits below.

Whether you plan on hiking, visiting the beach or partaking in any other outdoor activity this summer, knowing what to do and being prepared in case of an emergency can help save a life.

Approximately 40 percent of trauma-related deaths worldwide can be attributed to bleeding or its consequences. That is why Stop the Bleed, a national campaign to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in bleeding emergencies before professional help arrives, is such a timely and important initiative, said Jacqueline Brady, RN, pediatric trauma program manager at Vidant Medical Center (VMC).

“Serious injuries can happen anytime, anywhere,” Brady said. “We know that the most common contributing factor in trauma-related deaths is preventable blood loss. By training people how to control bleeding, we hope to greatly reduce the number of those preventable deaths.”

For many people, the summer calls for adventures. Families often escape the North Carolina heat by heading to the coast to swim and boat in the ocean. Others head to the mountains to camp and hike. For any outdoor activity, including those involving vehicles like motorcycles or ATVs, having the proper equipment and training can help ensure the fun adventures stay safe as well.

The knowledge gained through a free, certified Stop the Bleed training class gives people first-hand experience dealing with traumatic injuries. It features both an informational portion with important context and background, as well as a hands-on portion that gives participants a chance to apply a tourniquet to a dummy leg. After knowing to immediately dial 911, the next most important thing is the awareness and understanding to apply immediate pressure to a wound.

Bryan Lake, RN, trauma outreach coordinator for VMC, said he and his team have personally trained nearly 3,000 people, including teachers, boy scouts, girl scouts and civic groups, in eastern North Carolina in just two years. Lake said people from all walks of life should consider having a tourniquet, pressure dressings and gauze bandages ready and available, should an injury occur. Carrying these items in your car is always a good idea, he said.

“Anyone can learn how to control bleeding,” Lake said. “Our hope is that we can reach as many people as possible in eastern North Carolina. When you combine the hands-on training that a Stop the Bleed course offers with knowledge of how to control bleeding, it can lead to positive outcomes for people who sustain injuries.”

In eastern North Carolina, there are every day, practical needs when it comes to bleeding control. Brady said Vidant sees many farmers and agriculture workers who have suffered injuries from farm equipment.

VMC is the only Level-1 trauma center in the region, meaning that people who suffer serious injuries all over eastern North Carolina have to be transported to Greenville. For those who live on the outer fringe of Vidant’s 29-county service area, there is an extra emphasis on the need to act fast and control the bleeding before emergency personnel arrive.

“We simply can’t stress the importance of the Stop the Bleed initiative,” Brady said. “The more people that we can reach with this knowledge, the better. This is life-saving information.”

If you are interested in hosting a Stop the Bleed training session, email and visit to learn more about how you can be prepared to help treat an injury.

Highlighting Your Health is an educational segment courtesy of Vidant Health that appears twice a month in The Daily Reflector. Vidant is a mission-driven, 1,708-bed health system that annually serves a region of more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. As a major resource for health services and education, Vidant’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.