Via Christi Trauma Services launches Stop the Bleed program

Kimmi Patterson
Thursday, December 21, 2017

In nearly all active shooter incidents, car crashes or injury incidents, the first responders aren’t EMS or the police – they’re the bystanders on scene then and there. Through the Stop the Bleed program, those “first responders” will have the tools they need that can be the deciding factor between life and death.

Through a grant from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Via Christi Health, the program – which provides training materials and Bleeding Response kits containing a tourniquet, trauma dressings, gauze, a face shield and gloves – is helping Wichita to be more prepared.

Ronda Lusk, Via Christi’s Trauma Services outreach coordinator, said the program is designed to prepare community members to be able to respond quickly and appropriately should there be a need.

“Our goal is to train as many people as we can on this,” Lusk says.

The program, a joint venture by the American College of Surgeons, the Department of Defense and the Hartford Consensus, was developed in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

James Haan MD, who serves as medical director for Via Christi’s Level 1 Trauma Center, says that during these types of incidents, people who are severely injured can bleed out in as little as three minutes.

“The time it takes to call 911 and get help to the scene is probably going to be more than three minutes,” Haan says. “If we can teach bystanders what to do in an emergency, we can help save lives.”

So far, Via Christi Trauma Services have trained public school nurses, teachers and school personnel, law enforcement officers and Safe Kids Wichita Area Coalition volunteers.

“It’s about reaching the public, whether that’s through schools, churches, businesses or community groups,” Lusk says.

Lusk says that while the hundreds of bleeding response kits being distributed by Via Christi are beneficial, the training is most important. The hour-long course teaches people when and where to use a tourniquet and wound packing to stop bleeding.

“Our goal is to empower people, and let them know it’s okay to help because they’ve been trained,” Lusk says.


About Via Christi Health
In Kansas, Ascension’s Via Christi Health operates nine hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs more than 6,000 associates. Across the state, Via Christi provided more than $77.8 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Visit