ACS stepping up to help Ukraine

April 4, 2022

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) STOP THE BLEED Program is supporting efforts to help people in Ukraine learn the basics of the STOP THE BLEED course and is working to provide access to bleeding control materials so that they can implement these life saving techniques.

Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death after injury in the world. STOP THE BLEED is a quick and effective training program that can make a life-or-death difference when someone is severely bleeding. By using direct pressure, packing a wound, or applying a tourniquet, anyone can be ready to act when a bleeding emergency occurs.

 "Providing this type of emergency assistance in a war zone poses many unique challenges. Anything that can be done to stop a bleeding injury will give that person a better chance of survival. That's why we're working to help bring STOP THE BLEED to the people of Ukraine," said ACS Executive Director Patricia Turner, MD, MBA, FACS.

 Many people have stepped up in recent weeks to help the people of Ukraine as they endure a humanitarian crisis resulting from the Russian invasion. One such person is Roxolana Horbowyj, MD, FACS, a Philadelphia-based surgeon who has been teaching STOP THE BLEED directly to people in Ukraine via Zoom-based training since late February. She has taught STOP THE BLEED courses in Ukraine for years, but the recent escalation in violence has created a pressing need for disseminating this information in new and innovative ways.

 Dr. Horbowyj has seen the number of attendees in her Zoom-based courses rise as the days and weeks pass. During her trainings, she can hear the results of the actions going on in Ukraine. An interview about Dr. Horbowyj's experiences was recently featured in The Independent.

"We know bleeding is the foremost reason that injured people die. It's very much our belief that this training can save lives in Ukraine, which is why we're doing this," said Dr. Horbowyj.

 Additionally, Ukrainian language YouTube videos featuring Nelya Melnitchouk, MD, FACS, and Eric Goralnick, MD, MS, both of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, showing the basics of STOP THE BLEED, are available. These resources provide a quick way for someone to understand how to stop blood loss and potentially save a life during a crisis or traumatic situation.

 Dr. Melnitchouk also founded the Global Medical Knowledge Alliance, which shares open access evidence-based educational trauma and cancer management resources. They have translated the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) program, added STOP THE BLEED education, and shared the YouTube videos in Ukraine.

 STOP THE BLEED was launched in October of 2015 by the White House, with a call to action to begin training more people to become immediate responders during a bleeding emergency until professional help arrives. The ACS STOP THE BLEED program is operated under a licensing agreement granted by the Department of Defense.

 American College of Surgeons release