HOUSTON — When someone is shot, knowing how to stop them from bleeding can mean the difference between life and death.
Texas school districts are required to have bleeding control stations on every campus and teach staff how to use them. KHOU 11 Investigates surveyed the ten largest school districts in the Greater Houston area to find out how many kits are kept on each campus and if teachers are being trained to use them.
In addition to the biggest districts, we also checked with Santa Fe ISD. Four years ago, a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School killed ten people and injured 13 others. That school district keeps more bleed control stations in its schools than any school district we surveyed. Santa Fe ISD has two in every classroom.
Before the first bell of the school year rang in Santa Fe ISD for the 2022-2023 school year, new teachers and staff were taught a very important lesson.
“The number one cause of preventable death after injury is bleeding,” Santa Fe ISD Police Chief Ruben Espinoza said.
Espinoza teaches new hires how to stop bleeding in the case of an emergency. It is a course on how to render immediate medical aid to wounded students before trained professionals arrive.
“Like in the Uvalde incident, what happened? There was a lot of people that bled out, right?” Espinoza said.
Every classroom in Santa Fe ISD is equipped with what is known as a “lockdown bucket”. Chief Espinoza says it includes everything a teacher would need to treat a wounded student.
The state passed H.B. 946 in January of 2020, which requires all schools to have bleed control stations and train staff how to use them. Each kit must include a list of items used to treat wounds and instructional documents.
KHOU 11 Investigates surveyed the ten largest school districts in Greater Houston to find out how many kits are on each campus, where they are located, and how often teachers are trained.
We found the numbers of kits kept at schools vary greatly by district.
Houston ISD has 1,200 kits districtwide.
Katy ISD says it stores eight kits at each of its campuses in a central location.
Clear Creek ISD keeps eight kits on each of its campuses.
Klein ISD has 120 throughout the district, including multiple kits in its school clinics.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD has kits in all of its automated external defibrillators. The amount depends on the school’s size.
Fort Bend ISD keeps two kits at its high schools and one at its elementary and middle schools.
Conroe ISD has three kits at its high schools and middle schools and two at its elementary schools.
Aldine ISD keeps one at each of its school campuses.
Montgomery ISD would only say each campus is equipped with “multiple” kits in the school nurse’s office and “other designated areas.”
Humble ISD didn’t give us its records.
Most school districts host training at least once a year as part of their annual district training. They are taught by course-certified school nurses, school resource officers, and or medical professionals.
In Santa Fe, it’s Chief Espinoza’s job.
Teachers also learn how to use gauze to pack a wound and stop the bleed.
First-time teacher, Liz Vickers, said it is a skill that could come in handy.
“Not just from an active shooter situation, but just in general, because anyone can get hurt at any particular time” Vickers said. “It’s easy. I just hope I never have to use it.”
School districts are also required to offer stop the bleed training to students in seventh grade and higher, but students are not required to take it. Most school districts offer the course online or as part of a health class.