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WVU trauma surgeons, ER doctors help train young hunters to triage injuries and save lives

young woman tying a tourniquet around a young man's arm

Stop the Bleed training is offered to a variety of groups and individuals nationwide. Incoming WVU medical students participate in a training on the Morgantown campus in August 2019. (WVU Photo/Cassie Thomas)

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Six thousand young hunters will learn to stop and prevent significant injuries in their tracks while taking in the wild and wonderful West Virginia scenery through a partnership with the West Virginia University School of Medicine and the Division of Natural Resources.

Through a Stop the Bleed segment in the West Virginia Hunter Safety Course, hunters will learn everything from wound packing to applying pressure to injuries. WVU faculty and residents will help teach current and would-be hunters how to recognize and treat life-threatening bleeding.

“Through this partnership and training we can help ensure wilderness injuries that cause significant bleeding have a chance to be temporized and transported to a trauma center," said Dr. Jim Bardes , assistant professor of Trauma, Acute Care Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at the School of Medicine.

In addition to training youths on how to apply and treat wounds, the University has partnered with Spirit of the Blue Foundation to supply every DNR officer in West Virginia with a tourniquet kit.

“Tourniquets are affordable, life-saving tools that can completely stem blood loss from an extremity wound,” Ryan T. Smith, Spirit of the Blue Foundation executive director, said. “Spirit of Blue will replace every tourniquet used by an officer to ensure they always have access to one.”

The kits were made possible as part of a residency research project spearheaded by Dr. Morgan Johnson, a resident with the Department of Emergency Medicine.

“There are an average of 250,000 hunters a year in West Virginia for deer season alone, most are hours from any hospital,” Johnson said. “We believe that training individuals through the Hunter Safety Course will provide the skills for life saving bleeding control.”

The courses are taught in all 55 counties across West Virginia capturing the new generation of outdoorsmen and women and ensuring a legacy of safety in West Virginia.

“Our primary goal is to improve the safety of everyone in the woods, from the officers to the hunters,” she said. “Having the opportunity to provide bleeding control kits, through a collaboration with Spirit of Blue to every single DNR officer across the state of West Virginia, are truly invaluable to that officer, their families and the hunters.”



CONTACT: Cassie Thomas
Director of Marketing and Communications
WVU School of Medicine

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