What is “Stop the Bleed”?
In March of 2018, Jonathan Davis—a U16 at Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont—suffered a life-threatening laceration injury after his ski ejected in a Slalom race in New York and cut his inner thigh. He survived because of the quick thinking of some bystander coaches and volunteers who fashioned a makeshift tourniquet out of a belt.
Since that day, Jonathan’s family has been committed to educating and arming the alpine ski racing community to stop bleeding in the event of severe lacerations. They approached the Kelly Brush Foundation to help, and we were immediately game.
What we’ve done:
- distributed more than 1,500 Stop the Bleed packs free of charge (see more info here)
- conducted more than 50 Stop the Bleed instructions reaching more than 1,000 coaches, officials, or volunteers (to request a training, email [email protected])
- worked to encourage changes to competition safety policy recommendations
- tried to stay up-to-date on the work to learn the cause of—and how to prevent—the spike in lacerations injuries
What we know:
- “Stop the Bleed” is a national initiative of the American College of Surgeons. We have adapted the program for the alpine ski racing community by providing free Bleeding Control Kits and offering trainings by Jonathan Davis’s mother, Shelley Davis, an RN and trained instructor.
- There have been a high number of laceration injuries in the last few seasons, particularly concentrated in (but not limited to) the Eastern Region of the US.
- We don’t know the cause, though there has been much speculation. We’re not going to participate in that speculation until a real pattern has been established.
- There are apparel companies trying to produce “cut resistant” layers. Cut resistant apparel has existed in industrial clothing and speed skating for years and is rated on a scale of 1-5 (5 being more cut resistant). The more cut resistant, the more the apparel restricts movement, especially in particularly susceptible areas like the calf, back of the knee, thigh, and groin.
- Nothing is “cut proof”. This is very important: no apparel manufacturer represents any of their product that way nor should any consumer expect it.
The response from the alpine community has been swift and supportive. Coaches and officials have embraced the opportunity to receive training on using the Bleeding Control Kits and there are thousands of kits in coaches’ bags and on race/training hills around the country.
The alpine race community has also been very supportive in fundraising for Stop the Bleed. In the fall of 2019 skis teams at GMVS, NYSEF, Gould, Middlebury College, Okemo Mountain School, Harvard, and Boston College all held fundraiser spin-a-thons for the KBF’s Stop the Bleed efforts, raising nearly $70,000. The proceeds are used to provide Bleeding Control Kits free of charge to the alpine racing community.
View video about Jonathan’s injury and Stop the Bleed below: