Stop the Bleed Education Consortium: Education program content and delivery recommendations

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Following the 2015 White House launch of the Stop the Bleed (STB) campaign various educational programs have emerged to teach hemorrhage control principles to the public. The STB campaign seeks to translate battlefield medicine successes to the civilian sector by empowering the general public to stop life-threatening bleeding.1–3 Tourniquet use on the battlefield in Afghanistan and Iraq, often by non-medically trained service members, has saved an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 lives.4 In response to the horrific Sandy Hook, Connecticut school shootings, the American College of Surgeons convened a group of expert representatives from the trauma community, federal government, and emergency response organizations, among others, to form the Hartford Consensus. This group describes the public as “immediate responders” and key to providing point-of-injury hemorrhage control.5,6 The Hartford Consensus’ work led directly to the STB campaign, and these efforts are amplified by a seminal 2016 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which seeks to integrate civilian and military trauma systems to eliminate preventable traumatic deaths.7,8
One of STB's five goals is that the general public will know how to stop life-threatening bleeding.2 Although STB emphasizes the need for layperson training, it does not prescribe details for how this education should be accomplished, or what elements it should contain. Today’s public bleeding control programs vary widely, from extensively detailed in-person courses to series of online slides.3,9 There is no standardized approach to the content, content-delivery mechanisms, nor assessments of effectiveness among existing courses. Currently, it is not clear what it means to be Stop the Bleed trained.
In 2017, the National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health convened the Stop the Bleed Education Consortium (SBEC); an informal group of medical educators, public health professionals, and clinicians with expertise in hemorrhage control to address this problem. The National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health, established by a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, is a Federal organization supported by a collaboration of five Federal agencies, and an academic center located within the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. In a series of discussions over several months, the SBEC reviewed existing training programs, considered widely accepted challenges in knowledge retention in other layperson medical training programs, and then made recommendations to optimize STB education.10–14 The SBEC used the curriculum development approach recommended by Kern et al that includes problem identification, needs assessment, goal/objective creation, and educational method design.15
The SBEC's recommendations are intended to establish a common framework for educators designing curricula. Recommendations include establishing tiered training categories, educational domains, objectives, definitions, content, educational design, and assessment. These recommendations are intended to be minimum suggested elements, and are not intended to preclude educators from including additional content or modalities appropriate to their specific learner populations.

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