Local Woman ‘Stops the Bleed’ of Gunshot Victim | MedStar Health

Local Woman ‘Stops the Bleed’ of Gunshot Victim

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An Oxon Hill, Md. man suffering from a gunshot wound is now safe thanks to the quick actions of a MedStar Health employee. Though not an emergency responder, Phyllis Norville, a lead clinical consultant for MedStar Visiting Nurse Association, knew exactly what to do in the critical situation thanks to “Stop the Bleed” active shooter training she received at her organization.

Norville had been grocery shopping when the gunshot victim entered the store, yelling that he needed help. She told the man to sit on the floor and apply pressure to the wound on his arm while she called 911 and gathered supplies from the customer service desk to safely assist him.

“I immediately attempted to assess the wound area, took a towel and placed it over the wound, and wrapped it tightly to keep pressure,” said Norville. “With the help of the store manager, I used a belt as a tourniquet. We wrapped it as well as we could several inches above the man’s joint and wound area.”

Hearing the sounds of approaching sirens, Norville spoke with the victim to keep him calm and engaged until emergency services arrived. When EMS asked Norville if she was a nurse or doctor, she said she was neither, and was “just a healthcare professional for many years.”

Norville said, “I give so much credit to MedStar Health’s ‘Stop the Bleed’ training module for teaching me how to handle this situation. “I never thought I would encounter such an emergency. After the shock of it all, I could only think to myself ‘What would I have done if I hadn’t taken that course?’”

According to MedStar VNA President Traci Anderson, “Phyllis is a very dedicated employee who consistently puts others first. I am not surprised to hear that she jumped in to help a stranger in this very serious situation. Her ability to take action and effectively help the man certainly proves the tremendous value in the safety training programs that MedStar Health provides for its employees.”


About MedStar Visiting Nurse Association
MedStar VNA provides home healthcare services for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. A nonprofit, Joint Commission-accredited organization, MedStar VNA treats patients through skilled nursing and physical, occupational and speech therapies. MedStar VNA is a proud member of the MedStar Health system. For more information about MedStar VNA, call 800-862-2166 or visit MedStarVNA.org.

Media Contact

Carrie Koenig

Vice President, Patient Experience & Communication
MedStar Visiting Nurse Association


Andrea Wilson

Senior Marketing and Communication Specialist


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