Another key call to action of the Hartford Consensus is to educate and equip the public to respond to the need of victims, keeping in mind that sometimes these people, though uninjured or minimally injured, may be victims of the incident themselves. However, activating that type of response effort means that tourniquets and other equipment need to be broadly available in schools, offices, shopping centers, churches, and other public places. Also, education and training programs for what to do in the midst of an active shooter or mass casualty event need to be designed for and made available to the general public.
"Just as automatic external defibrillators are easily usable and quickly available to the public, so should easily applied tourniquets be available in a similar manner and locations," said Norman McSwain, MD, FACS, medical director, pre-hospital trauma life support. "It's not a complicated process and it will save lives."
Active shooter or mass casualty incidents such as the ones at Columbine High School (Littleton, Colo.), Sandy Hook Elementary (Newtown, Conn.), and the Century Movie Theater (Aurora, Colo.) have become a reality of modern American life. But until recently, the responses to these tragic incidents have focused more on law enforcement goals (stop the shooting) than trauma care goals (stop the bleeding). As a result, ACS and the FBI assembled national representatives from medicine, law enforcement, and the military for a meeting in Hartford, Conn. on April 2, 2013 just days before the Boston Marathon bombings to plan better emergency responses to improve the chance for survival of gunshot and mass-casualty victims.
"We need to expand the pool of first responders," said Michael F. Rotondo, MD, FACS, Chair, ACS Committee on Trauma. "With proper training, under the right circumstances anyone can act as a rescuer."
Recommendations from the initial
|Contact: Sally Garneski|
American College of Surgeons