Vice President Joseph Biden presents Dr. Lenworth Jacobs with the White House Medical Unit Medallion in recognition of the work of the Hartford Consensus group.

Vice President Joseph Biden presents Dr. Lenworth Jacobs with the White House Medical Unit Medallion in recognition of the work of the Hartford Consensus group.

Hartford Hospital is a leader in emergency response best practices and is one of the founding partners of what is now known as the Hartford Consensus. National leaders convened at Hartford Hospital and developed recommenda- tions to improve mass-casualty-event protocols. In the fall of 2014, Hartford Hospital became the first hospital in the nation to implement the new standards. With a generous donation from the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary, Hartford Hospital installed special bleeding-control bags across the campus. The goal is to reduce deaths among victims of shootings, bombings or other intentional mass-casualty events by enabling bystanders to quickly stop the hemorrhaging that can be deadly.

“Simply put – if we can stop the bleeding, we can save lives,” says Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, vice president of Academic Affairs, chief academic officer and trauma surgeon with Hartford HealthCare. The initiative grew out of recommendations by the Hartford Consensus, a collaborative group of senior national leaders from law enforcement, medicine, emergency response and the military. Jacobs spearheaded the group’s creation through the American College of Surgeons following the December 2012 school shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Jacobs’ leadership was recognized when he was invited to brief Vice President Joseph Biden about the Hartford Consensus and its recommendations. At that meeting, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, who is Biden’s physician and a National Security Council staff member, presented Jacobs with the White House Medical Unit Medallion in recognition of the work of Hartford Consensus. Jacobs also was honored as a “Health Care Hero” by the Hartford Business Journal.

Each bleeding-control kit contains tourniquets, bandages, shears and hemostatic dressings designed to retard blood loss.

The project is rapidly expanding nationwide. “So far,” says Jacobs, “we’ve trained more than 80,000 police officers; 12,000 FBI agents; and more than 1,000 Connecticut state troopers to use the kits. The Hartford Consensus doctrine has been adopted by all these groups.”

Jacobs notes that bystanders who applied makeshift tourniquets to victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing saved many lives. With the bleeding-control kit initiative, he says, “We are creating citizen first responders who are empowered, trained and equipped to save lives.”