Senior animal science, pre-vet student helps make Stop the Bleed program more available on campus

Subject of Emily Lefebre’s honors project

KINGSTON, R.I. — May 2, 2024 — Quick, ask yourself what is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S., and whether an organization exists to help reduce the number of fatalities? 

Not only is there a national organization dedicated to preventing fatalities from severe bleeding, but a University of Rhode Island graduating senior has helped URI students and community members become certified.

Emily Lefebre, a senior animal science major on the pre-vet track from Salem, New Hampshire, is among the 3 million people trained nationally by the American College of Surgeons’ Stop the Bleed program.

Lefebre made her work with Stop the Bleed at URI the topic of her senior honors project, which she presented May 1, at the Honors Showcase and Awards Ceremony.

“From the rare but potential scenarios of a school shooting, a campus car accident, or an injury during a sports or club event, possessing skills to effectively stop a life-threatening bleed becomes a matter of life or death,” Lefebre said. “The program is a campaign to teach communities how to respond effectively and efficiently to life-threatening bleeding in emergencies. The program aims to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills to stop severe bleeding by tourniquet application, pressure, and packing of wounds. “ 

Lefebre said Stop the Bleed certification courses have not been offered widely to civilians in Rhode Island, creating a significant gap in emergency preparedness within the state.

In an effort to close this gap, Lefebre, an associate Stop the Bleed instructor, decided to host certification courses for URI students, and the general public. 

“I surveyed 5,000 graduate and undergraduate URI students and received an 8% response rate, primarily from nursing students,” Lefebre said. “While awareness of Stop the Bleed was low at 15.8%, there was considerable interest among respondents at 90.4% [to take the course].” 

She conducted her first certification class in April 2024. Collaborating with URI’s Public Safety Department, Health Services, and the Honors Program, Lefebre taught and certified 18 students. For her efforts, the Public Safety Department awarded her a 2024 Citizen Award–Student of the Year citation.

“I raised nearly $4,000 to place tourniquets at all 54 automated external defibrillator (AED) locations across campus,” Lefebre said.

May is Stop the Bleed Month and as part of the awareness campaign, Lefebre wants to secure increased funding for the acquisition of additional tourniquets and to enhance training efforts.

“I was invited to be a guest on the public health podcast, ‘The Regimen’ hosted by Russ Scarpa, a graduating doctor of pharmacy student, and Jeffrey Bratberg, clinical professor of pharmacy, for an episode discussing ‘Beyond the Basics’ of basic life support, during which we discussed my project in detail. It will be going live in time for Stop the Bleed Month in May,” said Lefebre. 

A medical assistant at Ortho Rhode Island, she has just completed an Emergency Medical Technician Basic course (EMT-B), which allows her to take the National Registry Exam.

“The reason for making this an honors project was that it was a new idea,” she said. “It was hands-on, and it made an impact on our community. My end goal is to be able to bring my training to the workplace and to my local community.”

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Benjamin Smith, a senior sports media and public relations major at the University of Rhode Island and an intern in the Department of Communications and Marketing, wrote this press release.