AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas school districts are now required to have bleeding control stations on each of their campuses as part of the state’s new “Stop the Bleed” law.
School districts must comply with the law and have a program in place by January 1, 2020, under House Bill 496, authored by State Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, D-San Antonio.
The bleeding control stations must be stored in easily accessible areas of the campus and security planning protocols must also include their use. Students in grade seven and higher will also receive training every year on how to use a bleeding control station.
“I think if you can prepare people to be ready for any kind of situation and give them some life skills, I think that’s going to help us,” Dr. Crystal Dockery, deputy executive director with the Texas Association of Community Schools, said.
A bleeding control station is required to have: tourniquets, chest seals, compression bandages, bleeding control bandages, space emergency blankets, latex-free gloves, markers, scissors and instructional documents developed by the American College of Surgeons or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security detailing ways to prevent blood loss after a traumatic event.
Right now, districts are planning trainings and finalizing plans on where to put the bleeding control stations with their school safety teams.
“Some of our schools are doing it differently,” Dockery said. “Some are doing it in backpacks and they’re going to have it in every single classroom. Others are doing it where it’s going to be located by the AEDs. But the school safety group is going to be the one who is going to drive where they put those kits.”
Dockery says this process can help identify what’s needed for each district’s campuses in terms of placement and training.
“What’s best for a very large district may be very different than what’s best for a small district in our state,” she said.
“I think it’s also encouraging some community partnerships with hospitals, with sheriff’s departments, police departments and other people who are going in and doing some of the training,” Dockery added.
In the coming years, she also hopes legislators will continue to study the law and how it’s working to make improvements as needed. She says she’s spoken to some districts who are using a significant portion of their school safety allotment funding to add the stations on their campuses.
“I think one of the things that we hope will continue is a funding source to be able to pay for, upgrade and continually monitor these,” she said. “I think the funding, if you want it to increase and really be accessible for everyone in each classroom, it’s going to have to be a little bigger than having it in the school nurse’s office, in the main office and then the school resource officer’s office.”