POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – In the wake of another rash of school shootings, and in the middle of National “Stop the Bleed Month,” advocates are spreading the word about blood loss.

“A person can bleed to death in less than two minutes,” said Dr. Andrew Gaugler, a trauma surgeon at Lakeland Regional Health.

He says, with a little bit of awareness and education, people may not have to die that way.

“Once the ‘Stop The Bleed’ course came out, that’s how we decided that we could get the community and the everyday citizen involved to help save lives,” said Dr. Gaugler.

The “Stop The Bleed” initiative came to be in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, as part of a collaborative effort led by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

“Tourniquets and bleeding kits should be pretty much standard anywhere you go in a public place,” said Dr. Gaugler.

“We have gloves, we have tourniquets, we have scissors, we have roll gauze,” said Robert Dummett.

Dummett is chief training officer and executive director at In-Gauge of Polk County, a non-profit organization focused on firearms safety. Dummett, and the organization, also host “Stop the Bleed” training courses.

He says the goal is to get the “Stop the Bleed” kits everywhere there is an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine.


“The goal is to have these kits mounted next to them, readily available, for anybody to use anytime there’s blood loss, just like a person would pull a fire extinguisher off the wall,” said Dummett.

This week, he donated a kit to the Saddle Creek Gun Range in Polk County. The steps to save life and limb, he says, are clear cut.

“Wound packing is number one – wound packing and applying direct pressure to the wound and, if that’s not sufficient to stop the blood loss, then it’s application and tourniquet.”

You can order a mounted kit or a portable one online. You can also go online to find a “Stop the Bleed” course near you.