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Here’s What Texas Requires in the New State Mandated Bleeding Control Kits

Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 496—unofficially known as the Stop the Bleed® law—requiring all Texas school districts and open enrollment charter schools to have bleeding control stations available on their campuses.

The Stop the Bleed campaign to place bleeding control kits in schools and other public places was borne out of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting.

Making bleeding control kits available is an important step in addressing preventable trauma deaths. Exsanguination, bleeding to death, can happen in minutes. Without proper life-saving action, a person will bleed out before first responders can arrive.

Bleeding control kits equip the people who are already on the scene, turning bystanders into immediate responders.

Related: Where to Place Bleeding Control Kits in a School

What goes in a bleeding control kit for schools?

Each bleeding control station in a school is required under HB 496 to have all the supplies listed below. The superintendent of the district or the director of the school can determine the appropriate quantities.

  • Tourniquets: Possibly the most critical piece of life-saving equipment your bleeding control kit can have is a tourniquet, which stems arterial bleeding in a victim’s extremities. Various designs are available on the market, but keep in mind that Texas requires tourniquets that are approved by the armed forces of the United States for use in battlefield trauma care.
  • Chest seals: This dressing was created specifically to treat one kind of wound: a sucking chest wound. These chest wounds—often from a gunshot, stabbing, or other puncturing—make a new pathway for air to travel in and out the chest and can result in collapsed lungs.
  • Compression bandages: There are numerous ways to stop traumatic bleeding, but they all have one thing in common: compression. Compression bandages allow you to keep sustained pressure on a wound while freeing your hands to address other issues.
  • Bleeding control bandages: Deep wounds need to be packed with gauze to control the bleeding. Done correctly, it can significantly reduce the time that direct pressure must be applied to arterial wounds. Some bandages also come treated with hemostatic agents that make these efforts even more effective.
  • Space emergency blankets: Severe trauma can lead to shock and hypothermia. Shock happens when there isn’t enough blood circulating through the body to keep organs and tissue functioning normally. Hypothermia decreases a person’s ability to form clots. Keeping warm delays the onset of shock and maintains the body’s ability to clot.
  • Latex-free gloves: In situations that require a bleeding control kit, there will likely be other bodily fluids, too. Nitrile exam gloves offer the wearer and the patient some protection from infection and bloodborne illnesses like HIV and hepatitis.
  • Scissors: In a traumatic, high-stress event, getting to a wound in order to treat it might mean removing clothing. It is often safer and quicker to cut away the clothing than to try to move the patient around.
  • Markers: A marker can be used to write on a variety of surfaces, including paper, tape, tourniquet flaps, compression bandages, and skin to record the time aid was rendered. This provides first responders some of the crucial information they need to render the best care.
  • Instruction documents: HB 496 specifically calls for instructional documents developed by the American College of Surgeons or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that detail methods to prevent blood loss following a traumatic event. The instructions help readers prioritize which injuries to treat first, and how.

Get bleeding control kits for your schools with BuyBoard

  1. Log into app.buyboard.com/login and search for contract 530-17 First Aid & Athletic Training Supplies and Equipment to view awarded items under this contract.
  2. Use the Request For Quote (RFQ) feature for competitive pricing from multiple vendors. When creating the RFQ, be sure to include all the items required by Texas law for bleeding control kits, as many kits do not include all the specified items.
  3. Issue your purchase order (PO) in the name of the awarded BuyBoard vendor; indicate on the PO “Per BuyBoard Contract #530-17,” and email it to info@buyboard.com. Remember to notify BuyBoard of your purchase for audit compliance and possible future rebates.

Bleeding control kits are for more than school shootings

Bleeding control kits are not just for the grim reality of school shootings. The kits help bystanders act quickly and effectively to save lives in more common emergencies—like vehicle accidents, traumatic sports injuries, and classroom or playground accidents.

Research shows that bystanders with the right tools, even if they have little or no training, can save lives. Having staff, teachers, and even students trained in using the tools in a bleeding control kit can be the key to preventing tragedy in those critical first minutes before help arrives.