Training First Aid for Severe Trauma Across the Country

United States

Trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans 1-46 years old, and some of these deaths would be preventable with prompt intervention by members of the general public. Prompt tourniquet use has saved an estimated 1,000-2,000 lives on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, and multiple efforts, including the Stop the Bleed (STB) campaign and Until Help Arrives course, have sought to translate this life-saving battlefield knowledge to benefit the American public. The Uniformed Services University’s (USU) National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) and a collaborator have been leaders in these efforts.

In 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded a 3-year, $2.4 million grant to NCDMPH to develop self-sustaining, free, lifesaving trauma training to high school students across the nation. NCDMPH is executing the grant in partnership with a collaborator, HOSA Future Health Professionals, and a team of expert consultants.

NCDMPH, created as a five federal agency academic center at USU by Presidential Directive in 2008, has been a leader in the Stop the Bleed campaign since the initial White House launch. NCDMPH created and leads the Stop the Bleed Education Consortium, a group of leading national experts that published the only education guidelines for STB. NCDMPH has developed and validated an STB web-based, mobile application, and just-in-time educational materials; defined the epidemiology of extremity hemorrhagic deaths in the U.S. civilian population; developed the Until Help Arrives course in collaboration with FEMA and HHS-ASPR; and leads national military-to-civilian knowledge transfer efforts. NCDMPH occupies a truly unique federal-academic position that allows easy access and long-standing partnerships with both federal government partners and academia.

The partnership between NCDMPH, a collaborator and HOSA-Future Health Professionals will provide unparalleled scientific and educational expertise about layperson trauma education, coupled with the nation’s most robust public education delivery platform, to develop, implement, distribute, and assess the impact of the First Aid for Severe Trauma (FAST™) courses to achieve the Department of Homeland Security’s vision for school-age trauma training. NCDMPH and Red Cross have developed instructor-led, web-based, and blended versions of the FAST course to meet the needs of various educators and learners. A series of research protocols are establishing the effectiveness of the various course delivery modalities as well as course content.

The coordinated effort between NCDMPH and partners will help achieve broad, nationwide adoption of this new program. Since the start of the project, NCDMPH has held focus groups, educational research, and demonstrations of portions of FAST™ with more than 1,500 high school students and teachers in 47 states and Washington, D.C. The FAST™ course is expected to be released by the collaborator in 2021.

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