Massive blood loss due to traumatic injury can lead to death in minutes and requires immediate lifesaving actions and activation of the trauma chain of survival. There are several medical situations in which estimations of blood loss are used as a component to determine the severity of the injury and the appropriate medical procedures. But treatment of the trauma patient is not always commenced by a professional first responder. Studies show that bystanders are present or show up shortly after an accident or injury in 39-59 percent of the cases.
Previous studies on the topic of blood loss estimations have generally concluded that people are inaccurate in their estimates. However, the level of evidence from these studies is low. The aim of the BLEED project is to develop methodology to enable controlled studies of estimation of blood loss by development of video material and a testing tool for estimation, and to apply the methodology to investigate factors and indicators that affect blood loss estimation. It is of importance to investigate which factors affect estimations, and how this influences the decision making process for bleeding control actions. Increased understanding of these factors will help develop evidence based guidelines and best practice for estimation of blood loss both in a clinical context and for situations where novice laypersons are faced with the task of estimating blood loss and acting upon that estimation.
BLEED is part of the research effort Stop the Bleed, an initiative and campaign of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and American College of Surgeons (ACS) to improve society’s response to massive bleedings.