About 6 Weeks after Agustin Zentay took our public Stop the Bleed Class, he accidentally drove a screwdriver all the way through his hand.

Agustin Zentay and his son took Cypress Creek’s first ever Stop The Bleed Class for the public on January 3, 2017. For years, CCEMS has trained police officers and firefighters in case they arrive first an an accident scene. The next logical step was to train civilians and make Bleeding Control (B-Con) training as common as CPR. After all, there’s usually someone at the scene of an accident, the ones that call 9-1-1. But, what if they knew what to do while we’re on the way. Remember, while help is on the way, YOU ARE the help!

In the case of Mr. Zentay, no one had to call 9-1-1 because he knew what to do. He was home alone and was working in his garage trying to get a rusty screw out of a hose bib (faucet). He was applying a lot of pressure to remove the screw when the Philips screwdriver slipped and went all the way through his hand. Blood was spurting everywhere. He grabbed a rag and applied pressure, but wasn’t enough to stop the bleed. He had a tourniquet in his car but it was still in the hard plastic shrink wrap and he only had one hand to open it. So, he ran in the house and grabbed his blue practice tourniquet. He applied it to his own arm, stopped the bleeding and then drove himself to the hospital.

Here’s Mr. Zentay telling the story in his own words.

While Mr. Zentay does not believe his injury was life threatening, he says the training he received helped him stay calm. It not for that, he says he might have freaked out, would have had to call an ambulance and likely would have lost a lot of blood waiting for it to arrive. Cypress Creek’s response time, about 8 minutes, is below the national average can seem like much longer when you need help, especially when you are bleeding profusely.

That’s really the whole idea behind teaching Stop The Bleed skills to the public. A serious arterial bleed can cause death in as little as 5 minutes, so if someone already on the scene knows what to do more lives can be saved. Bleeding out is the most common reason for death in the case of traumatic injury.

Cypress Creek’s training follow the guidelines of the national Stop the Bleed program developed by the American College of Surgeons and grew out of the Hartford Consensus which was a group of doctors and other professionals tasked with coming up with ways to save lives in active shooter situations such as the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. That mass shooting left 28 people dead including school children as young as 6 years old.

Those who learn the skills are more likely, however, to use what they learned on injuries sustained in car wrecks or accidents a home, work or while taking part in outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking. Something as seemingly simple as a broken bone can be life threatening if an artery is sliced through by a broken bone.

Cypress Creek will be announcing more Stop The Bleed classes in the near future. Those will be announced on Nextdoor for our coverage area and also on our Facebook Page, so please take a moment to “like” the Cypress Creek EMS Facebook Page.

In addition to teaching Bleeding Control skills to police officers, firefighters and the general public, Cypress Creek is the only standalone EMS that carries blood products in the field for transfusion 24/7. ESD 48 piloted the program and is the only Fire Department EMS in the nation carrying blood products at all times. CCEMS and ESD 48 are partners in this first-of-its-kind program which was featured in a National EMS magazine in March of 2017.