Laurels and Lances: Bleeding, carrying, healing |

Laurels and Lances: Bleeding, carrying, healing

Brandon Coury practices putting a tourniquet on Travis Bitar at stop the bleed training Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 at Burrell High School. Coury and Bitar are from Lower Burrell. Excella Health-Frick nurse practitioner Vicki Cunnard, of Mount Pleasant, gave them tips.

Laurel: To teaching students a vital part of first aid. Burrell High School became the first district in Westmoreland County to have students complete a “Stop the Bleed” class. This was provided by Excela Health Frick Hospital and Dr. William Jenkins.

Teachers have been trained in most public and private schools. Students have joined the ranks of people who recognize dangerous bleeding and know what to do until emergency medical services arrive.

In the case of a mass shooting or similar event, students and teachers will likely be the first to respond to injuries until EMS is allowed inside by police. As proved time and again, a nonprofessional with a basic level of training can save the life of someone who is bleeding profusely. These skills should become as widely known as the Heimlich maneuver or CPR.

Lance: To those who carry without cognizance. The headline this week says it all: “30th Gun Confiscated This Year at Pittsburgh International Airport.” A gentleman somehow forgot that his Ruger pistol was tucked away in his possession as he encountered Transportation Security Administration officers. We report on most every such incident, but 30 is a nice round number so it gets a headline.

Air travel is stressful and confusing, and humans are forgetful. How many times have you sauntered into the security line at an airport forgetting that a forbidden water bottle or large tube of toothpaste is lurking in the carry-on luggage? But a handgun? And in this case, it was a .380 loaded with six bullets, including one in the chamber.

It takes nothing away from anyone’s Second Amendment rights to say that if you are legally armed, you need to be extraordinarily aware. How can a lethal weapon become so mundane that someone treats it like an everyday item?

Laurel: To healers who treat the emotions along with body. Two women from North Huntingdon, cancer survivor Lori Ball and Kathy Alexander, have created a nonprofit called Faith & Gratitude for people undergoing cancer treatment. Their goal: to help people with everything beyond the expert medical treatment from doctors.

When Ball received her ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2015 and began treatment, she realized there was a “large gap in finding both information and emotional support.” With a website full of resources ( and the ambition to grow, Ball and Alexander are helping cancer patients and their families cope with the overwhelming number of decisions and paperwork. They complement the work of doctors, allowing the medical professionals to do what they do best, while empowering patients to address their inner needs. Her voice of experience is helping cancer patients heal completely.

Categories: Opinion
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