How a new state bill could help save students’ lives

Legislation aimed at helping students in emergency situations unanimously passed the Washington State Senate.

According to a news release from Washington State Democrats, SB 5790 would provide schools with bleeding control kits. It would also help bystanders be prepared until professionals arrive.

“Bystanders can help save lives with simple techniques — having these kits available and having staff trained in using them can make all the difference,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senator Manka Dhingra. “Requiring these kits in all schools means that all students will get the same level of safety and protection.”

The kits have tourniquets, compression badges, bleeding control bandages, latex-free gloves, and other equipment. They also come with instructions.

The news release says two or more employees in the school must be trained on using the kits.

“Every year, I sponsor legislation brought to me by students in my district,” Dhingra said. “This bill was first proposed in 2020 by students from Eastlake High School in Sammamish, and one of those students returned to testify again this year.”

Rian Alam is one of the original Eastlake High School students who suggested the bill.

“Over three million people in the U.S. have become ‘Stop the Bleed’ certified,” Alam said when testifying on the bill. “These kids have the power to save lives.”

The legislation is part of a national ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign, says the news release.

The campaign offers free training.

“A person can bleed to death in three-to-four minutes if hemorrhaging is not stopped,” said Dhingra. “In King County, the target 911 response time is seven minutes. This is why it’s so important that bystanders learn to help.”

The bill has now moved to the House for consideration.

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