Carvings    May 1, 2022

In the news

May is Stop the Bleed Month

            It’s not likely that you will ever be confronted with a person who is bleeding severely as the result of a motor vehicle accident, a workshop injury, a shooting or a stabbing but those events happen every day somewhere and more than 100 persons die EVERY DAY in the United States from uncontrolled hemorrhage. If the majority of citizens were to take the one-hour Stop the Bleed course that is offered in almost every city and town, they could save an estimated 10,000 lives each year.

Stop the Bleed is a program that began after the murder of 20 schoolchildren and 6 school staff members in Sandy Hook, Connecticut in 2012. Recognizing that a victim of a stabbing, shooting, car accident or workshop mishap can die within 4 or 5 minutes from blood loss, and that 40,000 (!) persons die that way in the U.S. annually, the Department of Defense, American College of Surgeons and other organizations put together a course that teaches the simple steps that could save thousands of lives every year.

            The methods are simple and take only minutes to learn, although the hands-on practice that all students demonstrate in order to obtain a certificate of completion takes a little longer. The techniques shown in the program are only meant to control deadly hemorrhage in the few minutes before emergency responders arrive: Press, Pack, Tourniquet.

            As many of you know, I began a CPR training program at our church in 2001. Since then we have trained more than 700 members of the parish in this lifesaving skill. We began to teach Stop the Bleed just before the pandemic began and have trained more than 100 persons so far.

            Knowing what to do is important but you need to have access to the means of stopping extreme loss of blood. That requires such things as gauze pads or rolls and tourniquets. Do you have these items in your home, your car, your office, your boat or your RV? I didn’t think so!

            Acquiring these items won’t drain your savings. Start with a small pouch, or even a Ziplock bag. Several rolls of 3- or 4-inch gauze, two tourniquets and cheap scissors are the basics. You might want to include a pressure dressing or Israeli bandage but applying these takes training and practice.

            Why two tourniquets? Because one might not be enough to stop the bleeding, because the plastic windless might break, or there might be a second wound or a second victim.

            Why scissors? Because you may need to cut away clothing to visualize the site of injury.

            Be sure to remove the plastic wrapper from the tourniquets before you put them in your kit. Seconds matter and you will be fumble-fingered because of stress.

To learn more about this program and to find a class near you go to That site also includes access to online programs.

More In the News

            The world’ oldest person is 118 years and two months old – and she enjoys chocolate and drinks a glass of wine every day! She not only survived COVID in January, 2021 but she survived the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918.


Osteoporosis has nothing to do with aging.

            Fossil bones from the Stone Age – about 30-50,000 years ago – reveal that persons who lived past the age of 60 (about ten percent of humans at that time) had thick-walled, dense bones. The MRI of the thigh of a 74-year-old (!) triathlete show that her femur (thigh bone) has the same thickness and oval shape as that of a 40-year-old triathlete.

            About 95 percent of our skeleton is formed between the ages of about 5 and 25 years. Without almost daily vigorous resistance exercise it’s all downhill from there. But there’s hope – at any age you can slow down and possible even reverse the bone loss that results from inactivity. It means walking and resistance exercises most days of the week.

            But there’s more – proper nutrition is critical but calcium is only part of it. Essential nutrients include protein, omega-3 fats, magnesium and vitamins A, C, D and K. Note that about half of senior Americans have low or marginal intakes of magnesium and vitamin D.

3 thoughts on “

  1. Are you still giving the course at your church? (Saint Thomas?)

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