A Connecticut trauma specialist says more lives can be saved at mass shooting events if more people are trained to stop bleeding.
Fifty-nine people are known to have died in Las Vegas after a gunman opened fire on a concert crowd, in what’s now the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
Dr Lenworth Jacobs of Hartford Hospital told WNPR’s Where We Live that death toll was made worse by people bleeding to death of their injuries before first responders arrived.
There’s now a widely available training protocol for the general public that allows everyone to save lives.
“Once you have a population that feels that, yes, I can do something - I’ve been trained to do it and I have the equipment to do it - then you mitigate the panic part of it, and you mitigate this awful feeling that I can’t do anything,” said Dr Jacobs. “It stops bleeding early on in the course of the event. And generally speaking if you get to the hospital or a trauma center alive, we can save you.”
Jacobs is urging municipalities, schools, churches and hospitals to host training sessions to spread more information about bleeding control.
Meanwhile, the sheer scale of the Las Vegas shooting has renewed calls for gun violence to be viewed as a public health crisis.
“We have about 100 people a day getting kills with guns. There have been more civilians killed with guns in the United States since 1968 than were killed in the wars in United States history,” said Professor David Hemenway of Harvard School of Public Health.
He said evidence from other developed nations shows that instituting background checks, banning assault weapons and limiting magazine capacity all help to curb gun violence.
But he said gun ownership has actually declined in the U.S. over the last three decades.
“We have only a little over 20 percent of adults own guns, about a third of households have guns,” he said. “But the number of guns per household has been going up.”