‘I took part in a Bristol bleed kit training session and this is what happened’

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'These small kits give you the power to save lives'

With all the tragic stabbings we are seeing in Bristol lately, I could not possibly turn down the opportunity to take part in bleed kit training.  

The training session, run by anti-knife crime campaigner Leanne Reynolds and Grant Lewis from Safeguard Medical, talks you through how to use The Daniel Baird Foundation bleed control kits - around 200 of which are across the city.   

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These small kits contain the tools you need to treat stab wounds of different types, giving you the power to save lives.     

After entering the room at Eagle House Social Club in Knowle West, Grant emptied the contents of the kit out on the table in front of us.      

The trainer then went straight on to how to use the equipment. Time is the enemy when dealing with a stab wound, he explained, so we have to start applying pressure to stop bleeding.   

We learnt how to treat different type of stab wounds in the training We learnt how to treat different type of stab wounds in the training
We learnt how to treat different type of stab wounds in the training

The first tool we were shown was tuff-cut scissors, to cut through clothing so we can then identify and treat the wound. Within the kit are also nitrile gloves, for our own safety.  

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Safety was the first thing Grant said to think about, stressing the need to call 999 as soon as you come across the stab wound and getting someone to help you with the treatment. 

Next Grant talked us through a tourniquet, which I had never heard of before but is vital for treating stab wounds.     

This tool is applied above a wound on a leg or wound to stop bleeding, and involves tightening a strap and then securing it with a rod.  

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Next we were shown how to use pressure bandage, which gave me a bit of pressure as the person I had to practise applying it on was my former school teacher.

Others taking part in the training included youth workers of various organisations, with there being increasing importance about the use of these kits.  

There is a technique to using the bandage, where it has to be stretched before being wrapped around the wound and something the trainer was keen to stress to me. 

We put what we learnt to test on a model We put what we learnt to test on a model
We put what we learnt to test on a model

We were then shown haemostatic dressing, which involved putting the dressing into the wound. We were also shown chest seals, for deep puncture wounds. 

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Finally, we tested our new-found knowledge on a lifesize body (which looked scarily realistic), applying the different treatments.     

Before this training, I had no idea really how to treat a stabbing but it is clear that these bleed kits can save lives and I applaud Leanne for launching them across the city. 

The four pieces of equipment take only minutes to train how to use but are so needed right now with the level of knife crime we are seeing on our streets.

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