Trauma doctor stresses life-saving tool for gun violence

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As gun violence continues to rise in Nashville, officials are urging everyone to become trained and equipped to respond in emergency situations.

Carrying one life-saving tool can make a difference.

Vanderbilt trauma medical director, Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui, has seen the results of gun violence first hand.

“I’ve been here 15 years, and this is the worse year of gun violence that I’ve ever seen,” he told News 2.

Homicides are up more than 60 percent in Nashville, compared to last year and bystanders are always the first on the scene. Dr. Guillamondegui urges everyone to carry a tourniquet.

“I think we need to be prepared for stopping the bleed as a way of life. I have one in my car, my family member and friends have them in their cars.”

The lifesaving tool only takes seconds to apply.

“Pull it, cinch it, twist it, write the time,” he explains.

Metro police officer John Jayne teaches officers lifesaving skills at the police academy. He says the first few minutes following an incident are vital.

“If you have a major rupture to an artery you are probably talking about a matter of minutes before you are not going to be viable anymore” explained officer Jayne.

As he looks for the best in life-saving devices for first responders, he agrees that everyone should be equipped with a tourniquet.

“Anybody, family member, child, elderly, doesn’t matter who it is can place a tourniquet. The old habits of you place a tourniquet you put the limb at risk, a better life than limb and we are ok with that,” said Dr. Guillamondegui.

He went on to explain that you first you want to try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound if that doesn’t work then use a tourniquet. He does not condone using belts or other clothing items.

You can buy tourniquets online, but you want to make sure it is TCCC approved.

There is a national awareness campaign called “stop the bleed” that is being rolled out here in Nashville. The idea is to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.