Chair of Emergency Medicine on National Security Council roundtable

BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – Gregory Christiansen, DO MEd, FACOEP-D Chair of Emergency Medicine at Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine, was part of a Roundtable hosted by the National Security Council (NSC) regarding Bystanders: Our Nation’s Immediate Responders.  The Roundtable led to the White House and NSC’s recent co-sponsored launch of the “Stop the Bleed” campaign.

The Roundtable, hosted in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House earlier this year, was attended by 50 senior leaders from 35 national organizations representing 9-1-1, allied health disciplines, emergency management, EMS, fire service, law enforcement, medicine, nursing and public health along with key federal personnel and National Security Council (NSC) staff.  Dr. Christiansen was invited to be part of the Roundtable because of his years of experience in Emergency Medicine including service as a medical commander of the Virginia -1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team where he was deployed to support the President of the United States during events and appearances and to manage disaster events like hurricane Katrina.

The White House reported, The Bystanders:  Our Nation’s Immediate Responders Roundtable was hosted because the National Security Council and the White House recognized the need for resiliency among the general public in the face of a terrorist threat; part of that response includes supporting those who have been harmed by hostile perpetrators. This medical-preparedness initiative is a direct response to Presidential Policy Directive 8 (National Preparedness). The goal of the initiative is to build national resilience by better preparing the general public to save lives by raising awareness of techniques that can save lives by taking such basic actions as stopping life threatening bleeding.  The White House sought to create an American Disaster Preparedness Policy and brought in the best ideas from military and civilian experiences fleshed out at the Roundtable and created what is now approved as the Stop the Bleed campaign.

According to the White House, based on experience with developing Bystander CPR and See Something/ Say Something campaign, the Stop the Bleed campaign is designed for bystanders to respond to a traumatic event by initiating care before Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers arrive on scene. It can take on average 5 to 8 minutes for EMS to arrive to an incident. By that time, those with vascular injuries may succumb to the bleeding if an intervention is not applied.  Stop the Bleed is designed to improve bystander actions in a time critical circumstance which could result in more lives saved.  As observed in the Madrid train bombing and the Boston Marathon bombing, bystanders were the 1st on the scene, and they immediately went into action. Bystanders who are already at the event can immediately go into action and respond by applying pressure to a hemorrhage site.

To assist the general public in meeting the goal of the Stop the Bleed campaign, hemorrhage control kits will be placed along-side Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machines already in public venues like airports and shopping malls.  These kits will contain life-saving equipment such as tourniquets which can be simply and easily applied to a hemorrhaging extremity. Dr. Christiansen was present when The President signed the proclamation for the Stop the Bleed Campaign and thanked the work group for their assistance in advancing the public service announcement on Oct 6, 2015.

“It was an honor to be invited to be part of the Roundtable,” said Dr. Christiansen.  “Our goal was to empower the public to build resilience and to help save lives. As an Emergency Physician and disaster response specialist, I have seen the impact of simple, but lifesaving actions taken by bystanders. Whether it is initiating CPR or applying pressure to hemorrhage sites, bystanders can make a difference.  I am proud to represent Emergency Medicine, the Osteopathic medical profession, and Campbell University in the Stop the Bleed campaign. It was a privilege to be a part of the working group to make this campaign a reality.”