Replace panic with a plan - FAST (First Aid For Severe Trauma)

FAST Talent Seeker Posts: 1 👋 | Newcomer
edited November 2021 in Health Science

Injuries happen.

Being prepared for a bleeding emergency is now a bit simpler with the newest American Red Cross course: First Aid for Severe Trauma™ (FAST™). FAST has some big names behind it:

American Red Cross

National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health at the Uniformed Services University

Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate

HOSA-Future Health Professionals


Thanks to a DHS S&T grant, the FAST course and digital materials are available at no charge for high school students under the age of 19. Here’s what makes FAST a must-have for your high school.

1. A huge part of responding to any emergency is being ready. FAST helps you easily understand when bleeding is an emergency. Think soda cans. Bleeding is considered life-threatening when blood loss equals the amount of liquid in half a can of soda, and the blood continues to flow.

2. You can’t help an injured person if you get injured yourself. In FAST, you’ll learn how to assess scene safety. Usually, it’s everyday hazards – cars speeding by on a highway or broken glass. Obvious situations can become dangerous quickly.

3. Throughout the FAST course you’ll see examples of something called “closed-loop communications.” Students refer to each other by name and repeat what they hear out loud. We don’t talk like this normally, but in a high stakes situation, it makes all the difference. Picture this: four people respond to a bleeding emergency. Without communication best practices, someone says, “Go get the bleeding control kit.” Then, either no one goes or everyone goes to get the kit – and neither of these situations is best for the injured person.

4. Using a tourniquet is a relatively simple skill, but it’s not easy if you’ve never been taught how to do it. People with life-threatening bleeding need immediate action and FAST teaches you what to do. It works. The content for this section comes from real-life experience saving soldiers’ lives on the Iraq and Afghanistan battlefields.

5. The FAST course is anything but ordinary. FAST was developed with input from students, for students. The quality of the videos, photos, 3-D animation and the stories being told is really high compared to what’s out there. We like what one of the course developers said: “FAST is way better.” 

 Remember, FAST is knowledge. And knowledge is power. Share this post and the video with your teachers and other students. You’ll have the knowledge to act and the power to save.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s opinions and not the official policy or position of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Uniformed Services University, Defense Department, or US Government.

By Raphaelle Rodzik

National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine


  • Heaven
    Heaven USAMember Posts: 1,142 🔮 | Paragon

    Apply firm pressure to the wound with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. But don't apply direct pressure to the wound if you suspect a skull fracture. Watch for changes in breathing and alertness. If the person shows no signs of circulation — no breathing, coughing or movement — begin CPR.

  • MLE
    MLE South CarolinaMember Posts: 340 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    @FAST This is very helpful! Thanks 😀