In the Know

Mission Hospital Teaches Irvine School Staff to Stop the Bleed

02.01.2018 St. Joseph Hoag Health

Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG

Irvine school nurses and athletic trainers on Tuesday, Jan. 30, learned simple techniques that could save lives in a shooting or other mass-casualty situation.

Twenty-five members of the Irvine Unified School District completed the certificate program that was developed after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. It focuses on teaching people ways to stop bleeding, which, according to the American College of Surgeons, is the No. 1 cause death in a trauma that can be prevented.

These staff members will now train teachers and others employees at their respective schools.

“They made the course easy enough so that a lay person can learn to provide care when there’s trauma,” said Azita Ghaderifard, a school nurse at University High School, after the workshop held at Creekside High School. “In a lot of cases, people die from blood loss. If you can prevent that until the professionals arrive, you can save lives.”

Through the Stop the Bleed program, the staff members learned to use any clean cloth available, even just a shirt, to stuff deep wounds to staunch bleeding. A belt can be a tourniquet they were told.

“Today we live in a world where terrorism, the actions of unstable people, and the dangerous impulses of friends and relatives are very real and becoming increasingly more frequent,” the Stop the Bleed website says. “However, anyone at the scene can act as immediate responder and save lives if they know what to do.”

Mission Hospital became the first facility on the West Coast to offer the Stop the Bleed course last year, Trauma Program Manager Nicholas Mannering said. The hospital has trained employees with the city of Mission Viejo, but Tuesday was the first time it offered the program to a school district.

Dr. Almaas Shaikh, a trauma surgeon at Mission Hospital whose son goes to Meadow Park Elementary School, had reached out to Irvine Unified about the opportunity.

“I think it’s important to offer in almost any public setting, specifically as related to schools, as I think just about everybody knows we are seeing increasing incidences of school-related events that have led to some fairly serious injuries,” Shaikh said.

School nurses who attended Tuesday’s training pointed out many people have experienced or know people who have been affected by mass-casualty incidents, such as last year’s Las Vegas shooting.

“If this training saves one life,” school nurse Daniella Gorman said, “then it’s worth it.”

For more information on the Stop the Bleed program, visit

Story originally appeared in the Orange County Register by Tomoya Shimura.