CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas doctor is leading the campaign for a new government-led idea that they say could save lives in mass casualty situations.
Dr. J Patrick Walker has spent over 30 years in medicine and believes this is one of the most needed projects The project is known as "Stop the Bleed." It is a federal program that was started by Dr. Lenworth Jacobs after the Sandy Hook School mass shooting where 26 people were killed. Jacobs and his colleagues began a program that would grow to the campaign. Walker, a Crockett native, is leading the effort in Texas along with San Antonio Dr. Ronny Stewart.
"It's not about Crockett, Lufkin, or East Texas," Walker said. "It's a nationwide project, and we need to be aware of it in East Texas."
The campaign would put medical kits in public places. Much like AED machines, once opened, medical personnel would be called out to the location. The Stop the Bleed kits would include military-grade hemostatic agents and multiple tourniquets. If the wound is bad enough, a patient can bleed out in a matter of minutes.
"This is for the civilian at the scene to initiate care," Walker said. "If an individual has to wait for the EMS to arrive, it may be too late to stop the hemorrhaging. The debate on mass shootings is a hot topic. Gun control is a contentious problem. What side you stand on is not part of this. this is about trying to get care to the injured individual immediately."
The federal initiative is now in the development stage. While the campaign started out of mass trauma incidents, Walker believes it could be used for everyday emergencies.
"It can happen anywhere in our country," Walker said. "It could happen in Lufkin or Latexo. It is important to understand that this Stop the Bleed program will be utilized for other trauma, industrial accidents, automobile accidents, anything that can reduce hemorrhaging accidents. Our EMS services our great. they get there quick, but it is hard to imagine them getting there in less than five minutes."
Walker recently showed a kit off to State Representative and Lufkin native Trent Ashby. Impressed, Ashby wrote up a resolution to have Texas back the program. The resolution was filed in the House of Representatives Tuesday. Ashby hopes for the house to vote on it early next week, so it can then be sent to the Senate and then Governor Greg Abbot's office for approval.