Dear neighbors:

Every year, I sponsor legislation brought to me by students in our district.

In 2020 a group of students from Eastlake High School in Sammamish brought forward a terrific bill to help keep students safe in the event of accidents.

The bill they proposed would provide bleeding control kits in schools and encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help until professionals arrive.

A person can bleed to death in three-to-four minutes if hemorrhaging is not stopped. But 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 passed the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee in 2020, but then Covid hit, and we had to reevaluate our priorities for the session, so the bill didn’t move any further.

Then recently, I heard from a physician with the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Quinton Hatch. He has two kids at Harborview Heights Elementary in Gig Harbor. And he told me that the American College of Surgeons wanted to support this policy to help prevent bleeding deaths in schools.

So this year, I sponsored SB 5790, and when it came in front of the same committee, one of those Eastlake students, who is now studying at UW, returned to testify again this year, alongside Dr. Hatch and other physicians, students, and educators. This time, the bill passed the committee unanimously, and then passed the whole Senate unanimously, as well. It just goes to show: democracy is a team sport!

More information about Stopping the Bleed

This legislation is part of a national Stop the Bleed campaign by the American College of Surgeons.

The kits themselves include tourniquets certified to U. S. Department of Defense standards, compression bandages, bleeding control bandages, latex-free gloves; instructional documents, and other equipment.

The American College of Surgeons provides most training sessions on how to use the bleed kits for free. Under SB 5790, two or more employees per school must be trained on using the kits. There is no minimum age for the training, so students can learn as well.

An amendment on the floor added defibrillators to the list of equipment the bill requires.

You can watch the public testimony on the bill here on TVW.

Save the date! Town hall on Feb. 17

Rep. Larry Springer, Rep. Roger Goodman, and I will be holding an in-person town hall at Lake Washington Tech (11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034) on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. I hope to see you there!

Stay in touch

As always, please feel free to reach out to my office directly with any questions or concerns. Take care!

Sincerely yours,

Manka Dhingra
Senator, 45th Legislative District
Deputy Majority Leader