Please help U of C with survey on administering trauma medicine

March 2021

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police has agreed to assist graduate students at the University of Chicago with research. Here is their description:

"We are researchers at the University of Chicago doing a research study about the public’s willingness to learn and administer trauma medicine (i.e., tourniquet application, direct pressure on wounds, field dressings, etc.) during a mass casualty or Active Shooter Incident (ASI). This is strictly hypothetical and would only involve their participation in a survey. Participation in the survey should take about 10 minutes. Your participation is voluntary."

One of the Sponsors of the survey and this project is Donald Zoufal, the legal advisor to ILACP. Please consider responding to this survey to assist Mr. Zoufal and the graduate students.

Click here to access the survey 

Background for this project

Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, the FBI has reported that active shooter incidents have been on the rise with more shootings and more casualties each year, with incidents occurring in every state in the nation. This trend does not appear to be slowing down and more and more cities and schools are looking at the possibility of an active shooter incident not as an “if”type scenario, but a “when.”

As cities, police, and school organizers deliberate on what the best strategy is to prepare for a possible attack, the public at large is often left out of that strategic planning phase. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things that the average citizen can do and learn to help prepare themselves to be a part of the solution, and not just a part of the problem.

From the beginning of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, the United States military has implemented what is called “trauma medicine” training for all of its troops. Trauma medicine is a collection of simple and quick techniques that a soldier can use on the battlefield to treat trauma wounds quickly and effectively, prolonging the victim’s life until they can reach higher levels of medical care such as a hospital or medical doctor. These techniques can be used on any person, as well as used as self-aid if the victim is the person trained in trauma medicine. Other techniques that can be taught in the class are tension-pneumo thorax (needle decompression) to clear built up oxygen in the chest cavity from gunshot wounds, victim triage to prepare for an ambulance arrival, and how to deal with penetrating wounds. This trauma medicine training has decreased the amount of battlefield deaths by 39% since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. This training can prove exceptionally practical for any type of trauma event including car accidents, hiking accidents, etc., outside of active shooter incidents.

Trauma medicine training is usually taught in one or two classes that range from 4 to 8 hours in length, depending on how many trauma medicine applications are being taught in the course. The first and simplest technique that is taught is the stopping of massive hemorrhaging (aka “stop the bleed”) by learning the use of tourniquet application. By learning the correct use of applying a tourniquet, or direct pressure to a wound with the application of pressure dressings, 80% of trauma wounds can be effectively managed until the next level of care can be implemented. Studies have shown that the technique for applying a tourniquet can be learned in a matter of minutes with the confidence to use it in an emergency setting.

Studies have also shown that people with some kind of trauma medical training (e.g., military, law enforcement, and medical personnel) have effectively saved lives in the moments after an active shooter incident by relying on their previous trauma medicine training. Examples of victims saved by tourniquets prior to emergency room admittance can be found after the Paris Attacks, the Las Vegas Shooting, and the attack at The Pulse NightClub in Florida.

The average response time for first responders in an active shooter incident is between 10-20 minutes and the police usually have to make an area safe before attending to the wounded. That can waste precious moments when a victim is bleeding out from a gunshot wound. By taking the 4-8 hours required to effectively learn trauma medicine training, members of the public can be an integral part of post-active shooter incident survival by applying their trauma medicine training on any victims prior to the arrival of first responders. The four hours of training you take today, could save your life or someone else’s life tomorrow.

Based on this information, please consider participating in our survey below. This survey is optional and your responses will be anonymous. Thank you for your consideration and participation in our scientific research.

Please click on the following to access the survey: QUALTRICS

Here is the consent form for participating in this survey. Please keep a copy for your records. Click on the following to access it: CONSENT FORM