The Government Wants to Teach Students How to Treat Gunshot Wounds. That Could Save Lives, Experts Say
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering a new $1.8 million grant for a program teaching high school students “mass casualty survival techniques” in the event of school shootings, expanding a training that some medical experts say should be “as common as CPR.”
The School-Age Trauma Training program will aim to teach high school students medical triage and bleeding control techniques to help victims who have sustained traumatic injuries until first responders arrive.
“Similar to how students learn health education and driver’s education [sic!], they must learn proper bleeding control techniques using commonly available materials; including how to use their hands, dressings and tourniquets,” the Department of Homeland Security said in an appendix to the grant announcement, specifically citing the frequency of school shootings. “Victims can quickly die from uncontrolled bleeding within five to 10 minutes; however, anyone at the scene can act as immediate responder and save lives if they know what to do.”
As the school year begins, many students are returning to campuses with new metal detectors, surveillance cameras, as well as more armed officers and teachers. And some medical experts say trauma training, like the kind that will be funded by the DHS grant, should be expanded more broadly — and should have been a priority well before school shootings became a more common threat.