Carilion Clinic trauma outreach coordinator named Red Cross Medical Hero


As we continue our Celebration of Heroes, we feature the 2018 Medical Hero.

Her life's work is getting more attention as school and workplace shootings continue to top headlines.

At Sarah Beth Dinwiddie’s core she just wants to help people, but the way she cares for others has changed.

After years working as an emergency room nurse, Dinwiddie now serves as Carilion Clinic's trauma outreach coordinator.

So instead of standing by a patient's side, she now stands in front of a class teaching Stop the Bleed. 

“We're just teaching people out in the community who have no medical knowledge whatsoever how to get control of that life threatening bleeding,” Dinwiddie said.

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign launched by the federal government after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.

Dinwiddie started teaching the curriculum in southwest Virginia in January 2017.

She says since launching Stop the Bleed, requests to teach in schools, businesses and churches have been overwhelming.

“You don't have to be a doctor, or a nurse or a paramedic to really help somebody out,” Dinwiddie said.

Class participants learn how to put on tourniquets and pack wounds.

They’re skills that can save a life until help arrives.

“A Roanoke City ambulance to arrive on scene it can take six to eight minutes for them to get to a 911 call. In that amount of time people, can, and will, and do die from life threatening bleeding, so it's the people who are there when an accident happens who are able to get control of that situation and help save those lives,” Dinwiddie said.

Dinwiddie and the other teachers empower students by giving them the tools to help in case of an emergency.

“It's really rewarding. I joke with my boss almost every week that I'll retire from this job. I love it. It is really cool to be able to help other people know how to help,” she said.

While no one wants to ever have to use this new knowledge it's comforting to know more and more people are trained to help save lives.

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