(LEFT TO RIGHT) Superintendent-elect Mike Kuhlman, Dr. Regan Lawrence, Maci Lawrence, Castaic High School Principal Melanie Hagman, Cambria Lawrence, Dr. Bud Lawrence and Chief Administrative Officer Collyn Nielsen stand with the “Keep the Pressure” kits Friday. Courtesy photo.

Valencia sisters donate life-saving kits to local schools

Santa Clarita sisters Cambria and Maci Lawrence, along with their parents Dr. Bud and Regan Lawrence, donated a number of life-saving medical kits to the William S. Hart Union High School District on Friday, in the hopes that one day the materials will save someone’s life.

Known as “Keep the Pressure” kits, the medical packages include a tourniquet, clotting gauze and other essential items needed to stop dangerous levels of bleeding due to an accident or other trauma, according to officials.

Castaic High School received 25 of the kits and Golden Oak Adult School received five. Friday’s donation marks the official moment all public junior high and high schools in Santa Clarita have received one of the kits — of which approximately 1,200 have been donated in total.

The sisters said they began creating the kits, and their nonprofit organization of the same name, in order to educate school site staff and students that not only can they help someone who is injured with a few simple steps and tools, but also that they can potentially save someone’s life.

“My sister and I were just thinking, ‘What’s a way that we can keep our community, friends and family safe?’” said Maci, a ninth-grader at Valencia High School. “And we were thinking that at our schools if someone were to get severely hurt, we could use something like a kit that could save them, and that’s how we can keep the pressure.”

The kits come in a sealed bag and are the same materials used in the military, according to the Lawrences. Although they have not been used, yet, and “Hopefully, they’ll never have to be,” the family has also taken to educating people through both a five-minute video online, as well as doing in-person trainings with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital trauma nurses at schools.

The kits, if used, would assist in helping people keep pressure on an open wound, allowing the blood to clot in the body.

The Lawrences alongside trauma nurses from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital hold a “Keep the Pressure” kit training last year at Valencia High School. Courtesy photo.

“We decided to put them into classrooms because we think that schools in general to possibly be where someone would fall on the playground or get hurt during an earthquake or natural disaster,” said Cambria, a 10th-grader at Valencia High School. “It’s also a great way to educate the next generation on these useful tips and possibly life-saving tools.”

“People should feel safe in schools,” Cambria added.

Dr. Bud Lawrence, the girls’ father who also works in Henry Mayo’s emergency room, says the kits are not to be thought of as any simple first-aid kit, but can still be used by any junior high school-aged or high school-aged child.

“What we know about penetrating trauma … is that if you’re in a lockdown-type of a situation and stuck in a room many of these patients will just sort of bleed to death because no one is applying pressure, or even if they are, it’s not enough to stop the bleeding,” said Dr. Lawrence. “This will literally save someone’s life … because by using these tools, it will keep them alive (to) where we have the resources in the hospital to fix what the problems are.”

The kits cost $105 each, but Maci and Cambria have donated all 1,200 kits to the school district after fundraising $100,000 already in order to run the project. Their hope is that these kits are eventually used by “Hemostatic Heroes,” as they call them, all around the community.

For more information about “Keep the Pressure,” visit their website at www.keepthepressure.com.

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