Story from KEYT
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Cottage Health gifted the Santa Barbara Police Department 170 tourniquet kits and holders to help them administer emergency aid before medics arrive.
The close to $9,000 donation was made possible through generous donations from the community to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation.
Tourniquets are devices that wraps around a person’s limb to prevent them from bleeding to death. The wrap isn’t a new invention. Mass shootings like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut five years ago brought new attention to the value of tourniquets.
“The kids suffered from uncontrolled bleeding. If there had been tourniquets available there could’ve been different outcomes,” said Gena Topping, an injury prevention outreach and education coordinator nurse for trauma services at Cottage Health.
Santa Barbara’s Cottage Health joined the Stop the Bleed Programwhich is a nationwide effort to save lives by teaching people how to stop uncontrolled bleeding in emergency situations.
“We were able to give the Santa Barbara Police Department 170 tourniquets, the combat application tourniquets as well as the holders for them to wear on their body. They felt it was really important for them to have them on their bodies when they enter situations where there could be a lot of bleeding,” said Topping.
Nurses like Topping trained 139 Santa Barbara Police officers on how to use the tourniquets.
“This means that if we have somebody from the community or a police officer injured critcally that we have an opportunity to save a life. Something like this seems so minimal, but it really can make a difference in saving a life that makes it completely worth it,” said Police Chief Lori Luhnow.
The department made the training mandatory for all officers so they can “stop the bleeding and save a life.”