La Crosse school nurses learn life-saving measures as school shootings rise

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Stop the Bleed places life saving kits in schools and teaches nurses how to use them. The kits can handle any serious bleeding injury, but the La Crosse nurses say they are focused on how to handle injuries from a school shooting.

When tragedy strikes, every second counts. La Crosse school nurses Sara Lieurance and Melissa Kujak are learning how to buy victims time. From filling wounds with gauze and applying pressure, nurses are learning to stop the bleeding.

“Really how to provide primary care in a mass situation,” Lieurance said.

One of the top causes of death from an open wound is blood loss.

“There has been loss of life that wasn’t necessary had there been the appropriate people in the right positions with the right training and the right tools,” Capt. Jim Hillcoat of the La Crosse Fire Department said.

The La Crosse Fire Department is training school nurses how to use Stop the Bleed kits. Nurses learn how to keep victims alive, until first responders arrive.

“Our outcomes are better when we have people that can fill the void from the time we get called to when we get there,” Hillcoat said.

The La Crosse School District purchased Stop the Bleed kits for its high schools. Other kits are available through the Health Emergency Readiness Coalition. HERC hopes to distribute 210 kits to schools region-wide.

“Safety is the number one, I think, concern in our schools right now is to keep our kids safe,” Kujak said.

The kit can be used to triage any life-threatening injury, but these nurses want to be prepared for a school shooting.

“As scary as it is, we need to be realistic. After Sandy Hook, when it really kind of seemed to hit home,” Lieurance said.

As did Uvalde, Parkland and the possibility of others yet to come.

“They’re going to be the people that are relied upon to be leaders, to take action when there are emergencies,” Hillcoat said.

School nurses are not only encouraged to take the training, but also become instructors.

The ultimate goal of the program is to pass down training to other school staff members and even high school students.

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