What is a public access bleed-kit?
A public access bleed-kit is a kit bag that contains tourniquets, dressings and bandages to help with catastrophic bleeding incidents, while emergency help is on the way.
They can be located anywhere within the community, where there is 24/7 access, or where there is limited availability within a location, such as inside buildings. They can be stored in locked or unlocked cabinets within the community.
Do we need a public access bleed-kit in our community?
Bleed-kits are there for patients who have catastrophic bleeds and where early stemming of the flow of blood will help in the patient's condition. They are an additional piece of equipment that can be placed in public areas for community access, when needed. Research into the benefit of the bleed-kits is still being collated.
Where can bleed-kits be located?
Bleed-kits cabinets can be located on any building, in telephone boxes, similar to how public access defibrillators can be located or even co-located in a public access defibrillator cabinet.
Things to think about when picking a location should be the accessibility of the kit and making sure the location is well lit and easy to see. There is also the need for space to park, should the person accessing the kit be in a vehicle.
How do the bleed-kit sites work?
In the event of someone calling 999 and identifying that the patient is experiencing catastrophic bleeding, the ambulance service will direct a member of the public to the bleed-kits location. This will only happen if there is more than one person with the patient, who can leave to get the kit and not leave the patient alone.
The location of the bleed-kit will also need to be close to where the patient is to be deployed, such as 400 metres away. This is so they are able to use the kit to stem the flow of blood quickly, if needed.
Do I need any training to use the bleed-kit?
No, you do not need any training to use the bleed-kit. The ambulance service call handler will talk you through how to use the tourniquet, if needed.
If I chose to set up a site, what equipment will I need?
You will need to buy a cabinet to store the equipment in. This cabinet can be locked or unlocked, depending on your location. Unlocked cabinets can give quicker access to the lifesaving equipment at the time of need.
You will also need to buy a bleed-kit to be located in the cabinet. There are many different companies who sell bleed-kits to be used in the community. Do your research to find a kit that is right for your community.
Are there any ongoing costs?
Yes, the bleed-kits are single use only so once they have been used on a patient the kit will need to be replaced. There will also be an expiry date on the equipment. Once this has been reached, the equipment will need to replaced.
Who looks after the site?
We will ask you to register the bleed-kit with us and this will include details of a guardian who will be responsible for the regular checks on the equipment. They will also be the point of contact for the ambulance service if the bleed-kit is deployed to a patient.
What do I do now?
If you have carried out your research, purchased your cabinet and kit and are now looking at placing it in your community, you will need to register your bleed-kit with your ambulance service.
For bleed-kits in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, you can fill in the online bleed-kit registration form for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. This will come through to our team who can register your bleed-kit and its location on our ambulance control system, to be deployed in the case of a catastrophic bleed within that community.
If you have any further questions, please email email@example.com.