It’s better to stop a person from bleeding to death at the scene of a traffic accident than to take photos and circulate them, Lincoln Edwards, president of Northern Caribbean University (NCU), noted during the launch of “Stop the Bleed,” a training initiative that took place recently on the NCU campus. Dozens of students, health professionals and community members were in attendance.
Stop the Bleed educates people with no medical training on how to perform basic bleeding control, or B-CON, in order to save the lives of victims of traffic accidents.
Bleeding is identified as the main cause of death in many traffic accidents and other medical emergencies. Stop the Bleed is one of the largest public health campaigns in the United States. By launching the program in Jamaica on January 5, 2022, NCU joins the global effort to prevent death by bleeding.
“We are joining forces with all those entities that are doing this [saving lives] so that corporately we can help to reduce fatalities,” Edwards said. It is important to promote this life-saving initiative that can equip the larger community to make a difference when accidents happen, he added.
According to national statistics, over the last 48 years, road traffic accidents have claimed the lives of 17,118 people in Jamaica. In 2021, 483 Jamaicans died on the nation’s roads in 435 crashes. The number of accidents has increased by 12 percent when compared to 2020. Just recently, the head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force appealed to motorists to follow road rules in order to reduce accidents.
Edwards asserted that it is possible for every Jamaican who wants life-saving training to obtain it. He argued that with over 713 Adventist churches in Jamaica, along with other denominational churches and several civic groups, the network to expand the Stop the Bleed training program is available.
In addition to the training, attendees were also registered to participate in a series of webinars on trauma and simulation in nursing education. At the end of the training, all trainees received certification that qualifies them to function as B-CON trainers.
Luis Llerena of Stop the Bleed said it was the first time the initiative, which was conceptualized by Jamaican doctor Lenworth Jacobs, had been taught in Jamaica.
In presenting an overview of the basic bleeding control training, Llerena emphasized its importance in life-threatening situations: “It will help Jamaicans help other Jamaicans.”
The NCU School of Nursing took the initiative to bring the course to Jamaica after one of their current faculty members got certified as a Stop the Bleed instructor. There are now four registered Stop the Bleed B-CON instructors, said R. Shaun Wellington of the Occupational Safety Health Office at NCU. The initiative will be offered to the community every week until the end of June, university leaders said.