Chicago To Install "Bleeding Control Kits" All Over City

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Chicago is a violent, dangerous city. It’s bad enough that it’s almost a meme at this point and we all know it. Monday morning headlines include the total number of people shot and killed in the Windy City over the weekend, and no one is particularly surprised by the high numbers.

And that was before the surge in homicides over the last year and a half.

Undoubtedly, it’s going to be worse there. However, the city is making a move to try and address part of the problem. Well, it won’t, but the idea is to at least try and reduce the number of homicides, even if you can’t reduce the number of shootings. You do that by treating the injured.

Chicago has begun installing “Bleeding Control Kits” across the city under the new Safe Chicago program amid an increase in gun violence.

The city will install 426 Bleeding Control Kits in 269 Chicago buildings, including City Hall and Chicago Public Library locations. Each kit can treat up to eight victims.

Every kit comes equipped with a tourniquet, gauze, shears, gloves, and an instruction manual on how to best use it in instances of “life threatening bleeding emergencies” that can result from falls, penetrating injuries (such as stabbings), gunshot wounds, and more.

This was kicked off by Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications and FEMA working in partnership with the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Police Department, and Assets and Information Services there in the city.

Frankly, I think it’s a great idea. I think every city should have these as many places as humanly possible. I’d say to put them on every street corner, but we all know they’d be ransacked within an hour of being left unattended.

Undoubtedly, some would say we shouldn’t have to do this, that we should address the violence itself. I don’t disagree, though most of those saying it think we should do that by restricting guns, which won’t accomplish anything.

However, bad people will always do bad things. Having these kits handy means lives can be saved.

And not just from gunshots.

See, folks often think about traumatic injuries like gunshots and forget that similar levels of bleeding control might well be needed for things like auto accidents, stabbings, or even just really nasty falls. There are all sorts of circumstances where someone might well encounter a potentially fatal bleeding situation and simply not have the best tools available to treat it.

Having them on hand, as well as instructions for those who lack the requisite training, may save a lot of lives over the long run.

So yeah, I think every city should have these. I also think every person should get the training to know how to use such a kit and consider carrying a tourniquet as part of their everyday carry for similar reasons.

Bad things happen. In Chicago, being shot is always a possibility. I’m sure at least some people think this is making some kind of statement, but for me, it’s really just the simple matter of providing lifesaving tools in locations where people may be able to go and get them should they be needed.

It won’t save everyone, but if it saves just a few, it’ll be worth every penny spent.

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET