The Sad Reason a Hospital Offered Emergency First Aid Training to School Staff

November 30th 2016

Laura Donovan

Following the recent attack at Ohio State University and shooting at a South Carolina elementary school, a university hospital in New York has started to train local school officials in emergency first aid skills, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Stony Brook University Hospital's trauma center had a training session for Long Island school district workers on Tuesday, which entailed showing school district workers how to approach open wounds and use a tourniquet. Though Stony Brook hopes to expand its efforts nationwide through a federal initiative, it's only doing the program locally at this time.

It's important for people to know how to treat such injuries, explained Dr. James Vosswinkel, the chief of trauma and emergency surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital, to the AP.

"Seconds matter. It really can be minutes when you can lose your life," Vosswinkel added.

Monday's knife attack at Ohio State University was an example of a situation in which people might be especially vulnerable and not know how to deal with their injuries, he explained. However, the program doesn't encourage "untrained people trying to do more invasive emergency procedures," according to the AP.

"I always think of what happened in Columbine and the students saying 'We have a teacher up here. He's bleeding to death. Please get up here!'" Cheryl Pedisich, the superintendent of a Long Island district that participated in the Tuesday training, told the AP. "Had they had these strategies to be able to use, I think that teacher probably could have lived."

The U.S. has experienced 205 school shootings since 2013, according to gun safety organization Everytown for Gun Safety. Following the San Bernardino terrorist attack in December 2015, a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) /Religion News Service found that nearly half of Americans were worried about terrorism. There have been more than 13,500 gun violence-related deaths in 2016, so far, the Gun Violence Archive reports.

Read the full AP story here.