USF leads Tampa’s city-wide effort to prepare for a mass injury emergency

TAMPA, Fla. (March 28, 2018) — The University of South Florida is partnering with major organizations across Tampa to be prepared for a mass injury event, such as a shooting or natural disaster. It’s through the national “Stop the Bleed” program that provides non-medically trained bystanders the knowledge and tools to help prevent someone from bleeding to death.

Bleeding control kits are in the process of being installed across the USF campus, many will be mounted near automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and stored in campus police vehicles. The bright red kits include tourniquets, gauze and gloves — medical supplies that can stop an injury from worsening prior to EMS arrival.

“They can be placed in schools, houses of worship, public venues arenas, any place where a tragedy can occur,” said Luis Llerena, MD, medical director of the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). “Unfortunately tragedies do happen and I think it’s good for us to prepare and be ready in case they do.”

The bright red bleeding control kits are being installed across the USF campus. 

USF is training dozens of faculty members and those affiliated with the Tampa Downtown Partnership (TDP), which is comprised of area businesses, attractions and on-street concierges. Dr. Llerena is working with TDP to develop a strategy that best prepares the downtown area for an emergency. He’s also trained dozens of employees at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, one of Tampa’s preeminent cultural organizations.

A major component of the “Stop the Bleed” training, is empowering participants to train colleagues and other members of the community. The Straz is advancing USF’s efforts by educating additional hospitality groups and agencies on how to use the bleeding control kits in an effort to save more lives.

“This program represents yet another way that USF and USF Health are making a difference in this community and beyond, ranging across the USF campus and around our emerging downtown presence,” said Carole Post, chief administrative officer for USF Health and interim CEO for CAMLS.

The kits contain medical supplies that can help non-medically trained bystanders prevent an injury from worsening before emergency personnel arrive.

The American College of Surgeons designed the “Stop the Bleed” program following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The White House officially launched it in 2015. National Stop the Bleed Day is March 31.

Dr. Luis Llerena, medical director of the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS), has trained those affiliated with the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Straz Center for the Performing Arts employees how to use the kits to help save lives.

Faculty practice applying tourniquets as part of a Stop the Bleed training session at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

-Story by Tina Meketa, University Communications and Marketing, and photos and video by Freddie Coleman, USF Health Communications and Marketing