Georgia resident uses STOP THE BLEED® training to save neighbor

From the moment he picked up the phone, Leonard Goodelman could hear the panic in his neighbor’s voice. 

“My husband just fell from a ladder,” he recalls his neighbor’s wife telling him. “Come quick! Come quick!” 

Goodelman, a resident of Roswell, Georgia just north of Atlanta, and a member of the Medical Association of Georgia/Medical Reserve Corps., immediately ran to his neighbor’s house to see how he could help. He found his neighbor lying on the floor in the garage and complaining of chest pains.  

After surveying his neighbor from head to toe and ruling out a heart attack, Goodelman noticed a pool of blood below his neighbor’s right arm.  

“I lifted his arm and there was an artery shooting blood straight up in the air. Then the a-ha moment came. He’s bleeding! I can STOP THE BLEED®,” Goodelman recalled. 

For five years, Goodelman has used his American College of Surgeons’ STOP THE BLEED® training to help when emergencies arise. He also teaches bleeding control techniques to local residents.* 

Goodelman grabbed a nearby kitchen towel and applied direct pressure until first responders arrived to transport his neighbor to the hospital. 

Thanks to Goodelman’s quick thinking, his neighbor was treated and released from the hospital within a few hours and is expected to make a full recovery.  

“If you can do something to STOP THE BLEED®, it’s better than doing nothing because you’re making a difference in that person’s life,” Goodelman said. “I believe that anyone who has had training can apply the same skills I used. With training, people can feel empowered to act in situations that cause severe bleeding and can say to themselves, ‘Hey! I know what to do. I can STOP THE BLEED®.” 

Leonard Goodelman (far right) participating in STOP THE BLEED® education at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

STOP THE BLEED® training with the Medical Association of Georgia/Medical Reserve Corps.

John Harvey, MD, FACS, teaches a STOP THE BLEED® course.

STOP THE BLEED® can ‘bridge the gap’ between 911 call and EMS arrival

Alex Robles, Division Chief of Professional Standards for the Roswell Fire Department, helps implement STOP THE BLEED® training among the fire department and teaches it to residents in Roswell. One of his favorite aspects of training is seeing how someone with no medical training can feel empowered to use these skills after completing a course that lasts less than two hours. 

“Frankly, I think it’s a very important skill for all citizens to know. Every day somebody can encounter a person who has been injured, and with proper training, they can start providing basic care. Learning these skills can bridge the gap between the time the 911 call is made to the point where first responders can get on the scene and start treatment,” he said. “It’s a short time investment where you gain a lot of knowledge that could potentially save someone’s life. Every citizen has the ability to make a difference in someone’s life by learning these skills.” 

When teaching STOP THE BLEED® courses to residents in the Atlanta area*, retired general surgeon John Harvey, MD, FACS, who often teaches with Goodelman, emphasizes that emergencies that cause uncontrolled bleeding can happen anywhere and are almost always unexpected. The skills learned through the American College of Surgeons’ STOP THE BLEED® training may someday save the life of a loved one or even a stranger.  

“Even as a general surgeon who is prepared to control bleeding, I never knew when I left in the morning if I was going to be dealing with a patient who had severe bleeding. You don’t get advanced notice,” he said. “Immediate measures to slow or stop bleeding can determine whether someone will survive or not, so it’s important to teach these techniques to anyone who is willing to learn.” 

Dr. Harvey explained that while at first, some attendees may feel intimidated or afraid that they might not respond properly, instructors tailor the class to non-medical professionals so that anyone can safely intervene in emergencies — if they choose — to help control bleeding before first responders arrive. 

“These are not difficult skills to learn,” Dr. Harvey said. “With a little bit of effort and interest, anyone can learn how to STOP THE BLEED®.” 

To learn more about the STOP THE BLEED® program and for information about how to get trained, please visit the STOP THE BLEED® website

*The training program was made possible by State of Georgia funding provided through the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission.