Life or death emergency: Know these tips to help stop traumatic bleeding

First thing to do in emergency situation is call 911, get help

For more information on Stop the Bleed classes, visit

This article is sponsored by University Health System.

When an emergency involving open wounds occurs, knowing how to stop heavy bleeding can be the difference between life and death.

University Health System's Level I trauma center team leads the "Stop the Bleed" campaign in San Antonio. "Stop the Bleed" is a nationwide effort aimed at teaching everyone how to stop bleeding and save lives in an emergency.

When someone is bleeding badly, whether it's from a car crash, shooting or falling through a glass coffee table, they could die of blood loss in five minutes.

"It can take EMS up to 15 minutes to get there," said Dr. Elizabeth Scherer, a trauma surgeon at University Hospital.

The first thing to do in an emergency situation is to call 911 and get help on the way.

Once you are waiting for an EMS to arrive, you can apply direct pressure on the wound with your hand.

Sometimes you'll need to apply a tourniquet, particularly when there are multiple patients involved.

If you don't have a tourniquet, you can use a belt or shirt to help stop bleeding.

'Stop the Bleed' classes 

There are free "Stop the Bleed" classes provided by University Health System, where members of the community can learn some simple actions on how to save someone's life.

University Health System is working with local school districts to set up training for teachers and staff under a new state law (HB 496) passed this year.

For more information, visit or call 210-358-4000.



About the Author:

Kiersten has been a Digital Content Creator with KSAT12 since 2017. She graduated from Texas State University with an electronic media degree and previously worked for the Spurs Sports & Entertainment.