April 19th, 2024

Hurricanes and City team up to ‘Stop the Bleed’

By Lethbridge Herald on March 25, 2024.

Lethbridge Fire and EMS accreditation and logistics officer Chris Fahey demonstrates the use of a tourniquet to mayor Blaine Hyggen and Hurricanes assistant general manager and coach Matt Anholt during the Stop the Bleed launch event Monday at the Enmax Centre. Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The City of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services have partnered up with the Enmax Centre and the Lethbridge Hurricanes to launch their Stop the Bleed program. 

Greg Adair, chief of Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services, said Monday introducing Stop the Bleed makes sense after the death of a professional hockey player in Europe who got cut by a skate and bled to death. 

“What we’ve been able to do is this program is a national program and it involves enhanced training, medication and treatment,” said Adair. 

He said over the past month they have been working with the Hurricanes and the Enmax Centre on this enhanced training and medication. 

“The exciting thing about the medication that we use is that it actually enhances clotting factors by 10 times, so what we’ll see is a 10 times better outcome than we would have previously with our traditional methods,” said Adair. 

He explained the medicine that helps them stop the bleed is a hemostatic dressing, which is made up of sea shells. 

“They crush the seashells and somehow it has wonderful clotting capabilities and that’s what they have in there, it’s a specific seashell that they crush up and put on a compound dressing and it’s a hemostatic dressing that has incredible results,” said Adair. 

This procedure was demonstrated during a media event Monday morning where Chris Fahey, accreditation and logistics officer with Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services showed mayor Blaine Hyggen and Matt Anholt, assistant general manager and coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes how to use the dressing when dealing with a gunshot wound. 

Fahey showed them the first step was to figured out how deep the wound was by inserting their finger inside, if comfortable to do so, then proceeding to insert the dressing inside the wound and once it was filled with it, use the remainder to apply pressure on the wound for about five minutes, or until the bleeding has stopped. 

Dr. Kirstin Derdall, department head of anesthesia at Chinook Regional Hospital, said it was during her work with trauma calls that she learned about these types of dressings and started to wonder how they can help in other places outside of the hospital. 

“I started thinking about hockey arenas and some of the injuries that we can see, particularly bad lacerations around areas that might bleed a lot like arterial bleeds, so I approached the city they were so fantastic in saying that this would be a great initiative,” said Derdall. 

She said she believes this initiative will keep hockey players safer and she anticipates that other municipalities will follow suit. 

“In the setting of a major bleed minutes count, so having dressings like this and tourniquets available are really going to make a big difference,” said Derdall. 

She added that the education portion of the initiative was extremely valuable as well, because in emergencies many people panic and forget what to do. So having something on hand that only requires a few simple steps to remember can be the difference between life and death. 

Anholt said having the Stop the Bleed kit at the Enmax Centre is an important initiative for them as anything can happen during a game, or even during practice. 

“We always need to have things like that around the rink because it’s a fast game and with the sharp blades on our skates anything can happen, so it’s a real important initiative to start for the Lethbridge Hurricanes,” said Anholt. 

He said staff members have been receiving training already and they are also working with players to get familiar with the kit. 

“There’s no coaches out on the ice right now, so the players need to know what to do as well right away,” said Anholt while some of the players were on the ice practicing. 

The Stop the Bleed kit at the Enmax Centre is located on the ice level of the facility, next to the automated external defibrillator (AED).

The kit includes hemostatic dressings and a tourniquet which can be used for injuries to arms and legs as it helps stop the blood flow to that area by squeezing tightly above the wound.

Lethbridge Fire and EMS is looking to expand this project to include kits at other City facilities and partner with organizations interested in adding Stop the Bleed kits across Lethbridge. 

“We’re very excited to roll this out with the Hurricanes and we look forward to rolling it out in the future to other hockey rinks and post-secondary institutions and then we’ll go from there,” said Adair.

The certified Stop the Bleed trainers at LFES are also available to help educate the public on how to use the kits.

Anyone interested in purchasing a Stop the Bleed kit can contact Lethbridge 311. For more information on the Stop the Bleed initiative, visit http://www.stopthebleed.ca.

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