SAN ANTONIO - In a mass causality event like the shooting in Las Vegas that left 59 dead and hundreds others wounded, the difference between life and death for someone severely bleeding, could be less than five minutes.

Because so many people were wounded during this tragedy, anyone could have become a first responder. This is why University Hospital continues to provide free classes for anyone looking to learn how to potentially save a life.

“You can bleed to death in less than five minutes,” Dr. Susannah Nicholson said.

Nicholson is a trauma surgeon and once a month teaches a one hour course at University Hospital on how to stop life threatening bleeding. It’s a hands-on course that teaches people how to assess a wound, how to use a tourniquet, and how to pack a wound while applying direct pressure.

It was pure coincidence the course offered Monday afternoon was happening less than 24 hours after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

“These events just make it even more important to make sure everyone is educated on ways they can help and save a life,” Dr. Nicholson said.

While interest in the course spikes after a mass casualty, Nicholson said way too many people don’t know the simple life saving tips. She believes less than 10 percent of the general public probably know the steps to stop severe bleeding.

Irma Beltran attended the class Monday and said she decided to take the course because she has children and grandchildren and feels like the life skills better equip her in a worst case scenario.

University Hospital hosts the “Stop the Bleed” courses once a month. They’re free and open to the public. They can even go to a larger group, or work place.

For more information on the course, you can visit the Stop the Bleed website.