This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.
With gun violence on the rise in many Maryland communities, would you know what to do if a friend, loved one or stranger was shot?
The University of Maryland Capital Region Health is trying to educate the community on how to respond to the victim of a gunshot wound.
Trauma surgeon Dr. Bethany Strong, who works at the hospital, says the first thing a person should do is make sure that they are safe.
“We don’t want any second victims,” she said.
Strong is also the medical director of the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program (CAP-VIP). As the only Level Two trauma center in Prince George’s County and the second busiest in the state, she said the center wants the community to be proactive with injuries before a patient gets to the hospital.
That means, she said, learning how to stop the bleeding after a stab or gunshot wound and how to properly use a tourniquet.
She said the center wants people to “feel comfortable when it comes to using things like belts, scarves, anything that’s long and thin as a tourniquet that can help stop bleeding from the arms or the legs.”
She said, unfortunately, it’s going to hurt when you put on the tourniquet, “You’re going to have to create some sort of discomfort in order get the bleeding to stop.”
The violence intervention program will host an Injury Prevention and Community Wellness Fair on Saturday, July 1, at the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, providing resources, training, trauma awareness and empowerment to the community.
“Our programs at the hospital are all about community outreach and empowerment,” Strong said.
The fair will have “stop the bleed” training, which includes tourniquet placement, CPR with Prince George’s County Fire and EMS, and Narcan or overdose training from other community partners. There will also be blood pressure checks and cancer screening.
“We will also leave room for joy,” Strong said.
There will also be family friendly activities including a Double Dutch jump-rope competition and face painting.