Wake Forest Baptist Provides Lifesaving Trauma Kits to North Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers

August 17, 2016

To better improve survival rates among victims of trauma, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is providing lifesaving hemorrhage control kits to the North Carolina Highway Patrol. This unique partnership, supported by the trauma center at Wake Forest Baptist, is the first of its kind in North Carolina.

These kits, called Individual Patrol Officer Kits (IPOKs), consist of a combat application tourniquet, gloves, emergency trauma dressing, gauze and a vent compact chest seal. In the event of a gunshot wound or other major trauma to either a law enforcement officer or a civilian, a responding trooper can use the contents of the kit to quickly help stop arterial bleeding, while waiting for medical help to arrive.

These kits have the capability of saving lives in an active shooter event or any act of intentional harm, where victims often die from arterial bleeding while waiting for the scene to be safe enough for paramedics to enter.

While the United States military has seen the use of tourniquets reduce the number of combat deaths due to external hemorrhage, the use of tourniquets in the civilian community is still not widespread, even with recent violent events that have resulted in catastrophic bleeding.

“In my years of trauma surgery, I’ve seen the difference that rapid emergency medical care in the field makes in the outcomes of patients we see at our Level 1 trauma center,” said J. Wayne Meredith, M.D., chair of surgery at Wake Forest Baptist. “These kits will hopefully go a long way in improving the outcomes of future trauma patients.”

State troopers are often the first to arrive on the scene of a traumatic injury, requiring immediate medical attention.

"The Highway Patrol is appreciative of the long-standing partnership with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and we are excited about the life saving possibilities that these trauma kits present," said Bill Grey, commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. "Quick, effective first aid is vital to survival rates and these kits will assist our Troopers with the Patrol's most important mission of saving lives."

The trauma department at Wake Forest Baptist purchased 200 of these kits which are in the process of being distributed to the more than 100 state troopers who are EMS trained. The remainder of the kits will be used as replacements.

Jeff Hinshaw, P.A.-C., N.R.E.M.T.-P., at Wake Forest Baptist, provides emergency medical training for many of the troopers in our state and, in collaboration with the Medical Center’s trauma center, customized these kits especially for the Highway Patrol.

“As we go through these training sessions, I find that many of these men and women are looking for something they can take with them to provide basic lifesaving emergency care. It is my hope that these kits will do just that,” said Hinshaw.

The goal of this program is to develop a fundraising campaign that will provide hemorrhage control training and additional kits to law enforcement, schools, churches and businesses across the state.

This campaign is part of the outreach and injury prevention that Wake Forest Baptist supports as the only Level 1 trauma center in the region.

Media Relations

Joe McCloskey: jmcclosk@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1273

Eryn Johnson: eryjohns@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-8228