Q&A: Lurie Children’s Emergency Medicine and Trauma Experts Offer ‘Safety Day’ Program

Contributors: Rashmi Kabre, MD, Pediatric Surgery; Director of Trauma Services, Yiannis Katsogridakis, MD, Emergency Medicine Medical Director, Patricia Aquino, BSN, RN; Emergency Medicine Trauma Coordinator, and Mary Otting, RN, BSN, Emergency Medicine EMS Coordinator

How does the Safety Day program work? What does it teach and to whom?

Safety Day is a program where Trauma and EMS experts from Lurie Children’s Emergency and Surgery Departments teach the public lifesaving skills* to help others in emergencies before professional help arrives.  

The complimentary program focuses on Hands-Only CPR and STOP THE BLEED® training where live demonstrations expose participants to bleeding cessation techniques and certify them in the Hands-Only CPR method. Lurie Children’s also provides the organizations/schools being trained with equipment to keep on site.

Any school or organization where the public gathers is welcome to sign up for a Safety Day training.

*Training subject matter was developed in collaboration with the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma.

Why was the Safety Day program created?

The program was created to empower the community and provide them with the skills to save others before medical help arrives. Lives can be saved when bystanders take timely action, and Lurie Children’s Trauma and Surgery teams are dedicated to equipping the community with the tools and response tactics needed in an emergency or violent situation.

Why is it important to learn Hands-Only CPR and STOP THE BLEED® skills?

Learning these lifesaving skills is important because every minute counts in these emergency scenarios. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 356,000 people have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States every year, and about 60% to 80% of them die before reaching the hospital. On average, it takes first responders about seven minutes to arrive on a scene. With every minute that goes by in a cardiac emergency without CPR intervention, the person’s survival rate decreases by 10%.

Additionally, the #1 cause of preventable death after injury is bleeding, and someone who is severely bleeding can bleed to death in as little as 5 minutes, according to stopthebleed.org, making STOP THE BLEED® training an essential lifesaving skill.

Do you provide schools with any emergency equipment to keep on hand?

Yes, we provide them with STOP THE BLEED® kits which include tourniquets and wound supplies.

How long are the sessions and how many people can attend?

Each session lasts two hours and can accommodate up to 80 participants.

Does the program cost anything to participants?

No! The Safety Day program is completely free for participants.  

What has feedback to the program been from attendees?

The team has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from Safety Day programming, and we consistently see great engagement and curiosity from participants during the training. We’ve returned to several schools for additional programming because of their interest in expanding the training, and one participant we trained even utilized the lifesaving skills they learned to save a family member of theirs.

Where can schools or organizations get more information about signing up for a training session?

They can contact Trauma Coordinator Patty Aquino at 312-227-4728 or paquino@Luriechildrens.org, or Director of Trauma Services Dr. Kabre at RKabre@luriechildrens.org, to inquire about setting up a training.

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