Newswise — CHICAGO (May 15, 2023): This May marks the 5th annual National STOP THE BLEED® Month, recognizing the global program that aims to teach everyone basic bleeding control techniques to help prevent death from severe bleeding.

For more than a decade, the American College of Surgeons has been a leader in bringing this training program to communities around United States and the world. The program now operates in 138 countries, including Ukraine, where it has been used to bring these life-saving techniques to citizens impacted by the war.

As the program has grown to train more than 2.6 million individuals in bleeding control techniques worldwide, trauma surgeon David S. Shapiro, MD, MHCM, FCCM, FACS,

is one of many surgeons who has witnessed firsthand how the program can empower everyone to learn life-saving skills. When teaching courses in the community and speaking about the program, he often refers to STOP THE BLEED® as “the CPR of bleeding.”

“It’s important to know that you don’t have to be a surgeon or a medical professional to learn these techniques,” said Dr. Shapiro, chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, Conn. “Anyone can learn these skills. We’re guided by the philosophy that if you’re empowered and trained in how to help control bleeding until emergency medical services arrive, you can help save a life.”

In the below Q&A, Dr. Shapiro describes the STOP THE BLEED® program and how he has seen the program make a direct impact in his community.

Dr. Shapiro’s responses have been edited and condensed for clarity. An extended version of the Q&A is available here on the ACS YouTube channel.

ACS: What is the STOP THE BLEED® program?

Dr. Shapiro: STOP THE BLEED® is a global empowerment and training program targeting the concept that bleeding is the number one cause of death after injury that is preventable.* We believe that if we can train people to not only be capable of intervening when they see bleeding, but also to be empowered to do something, we can prevent death. It’s an important program that is easy and straightforward but also quite profound in its effect.

ACS: Why did you become involved with the STOP THE BLEED® program?

Dr. Shapiro: Having been exposed to trauma and injury when I was younger, I saw the STOP THE BLEED® program as an opportunity to teach and empower people to safely intervene in situations where there is a severe bleeding injury and help is on the way. People often describe STOP THE BLEED® as ‘the CPR of bleeding.’ Anyone can learn to do compressions on a chest. Similarly, anyone can hold pressure on a wound to help prevent death from bleeding. And if you’re empowered and trained to use these techniques, then you can, number one, teach other people how to do it, and secondly, you can stop bleeding in an emergency situation and help save a life.

ACS: What are some common scenarios where STOP THE BLEED® techniques can be applied?

Dr. Shapiro: STOP THE BLEED® techniques can be applied to a variety of injuries that can occur in the household, industrial settings, or educational environments. Injuries that cause severe bleeding can happen out in the woods or in the city — they can literally happen anywhere.

In my own community, I go to local garden centers and DIY stores like Home Depot and offer education to the staff. The safety officers there love the training because they can then teach their own staff how to intervene in an emergency. We also work with student groups and staff who may oversee employee safety procedures, such as safety officers at corporations or manufacturing plants.

In the future, I’d love to see organizations like rideshare organizations, or even food delivery services, become more involved because they’re driving all over the place and may feel more empowered to intervene when they see an accident happen.

ACS: How have you seen STOP THE BLEED® make an impact in your community?

Dr. Shapiro: I remember a few years ago I had a patient who came and saw me. She had been injured by a blade of a lawnmower and cut herself pretty deeply. She was alone and had a son who had taken a STOP THE BLEED® course. He went to the basement and found her; she was extremely uncomfortable — just miserable and really upset. He intervened and helped take care of the injury right away. She told me that now he’s the hero of his scout troop.

More broadly speaking, I think what’s important to know is that when someone in the community has been exposed to STOP THE BLEED® training, they can then use those skills for life. That’s what’s important.

We have so many ways we can share these experiences. When we hear someone using STOP THE BLEED® in the community, it makes such a difference when we get up in front of people and say, ‘You may never use this, but because injuries like this are so common, you may need to use it someday.’

To learn more or to set up an interview with Dr. Shapiro, contact [email protected].

*Uncontrolled bleeding from trauma is a major cause of preventable death for people of all ages. Someone with a severe bleeding injury can bleed to death within minutes without proper intervention. Additional sources:

  • Lei, Roy, et al. “Stop the bleed training empowers learners to act to prevent unnecessary hemorrhagic death.” The American Journal of Surgery2 (2019): 368-372.
  • Bulger, Eileen M. “A Growing Body of Evidence Supports the American College of Surgeons Stop the Bleed Program.” Journal of the American College of Surgeons2 (2021): 239-240.


National STOP THE BLEED® Month 2023
For National STOP THE BLEED® Month this May, stories, videos, photos and other content showcasing the program’s impact will be shared on ACS social media channels. Follow the conversation on ACS Twitter and Instagram accounts, and join the conversation on social media by using #NSTBM. Content will also be shared on, where the public can register for classes and learn more about this life-saving program.

STOP THE BLEED® was launched in October 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. 

More information and details about how to get trained are available on the STOP THE BLEED® website

About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 87,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. “FACS” designates a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.