One of Australia's leading military surgeons is calling on first responders and emergency departments to undertake a Haemorrhage Control (HEMCON) Course so they are fully prepared for a terrorist attack.

Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Senior Neurosurgeon at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne said the HEMCON Course teaches first responders, paramedics, emergency providers and hospital health professionals simple but effective methods of controlling severe haemorrhage.

"Severe haemorrhage is the commonest cause of early death following the penetrating injuries and traumatic amputations which occur following terrorist attacks including bomb explosions or mass shootings," Professor Rosenfeld said.

"Some health professionals may believe they already have all this knowledge but this 'hands-on' practical course will be invaluable for all who do it.

"The HEMCON Course provides participants with hands-on experience, including digital pressure (direct and indirect), tourniquets and wound packing (preferably with haemostatic gauze)."

Professor Rosenfeld, a former Surgeon General (Reserves), Australian Defence Force is the first Australian surgeon to complete the instructor's course.

Developed by the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus, Professor Rosenfeld said the course is based on military experience.

"The United States and Australian military have been using tourniquets and combat gauze to prevent patients bleeding to death following explosions for years," Professor Rosenfeld said.

"This course will save lives. It left such a lasting legacy on me I now carry two tourniquets in the back of my car wherever I go.

"Unfortunately, we're not immune to terrorism in Australia, and it's essential first responders and emergency departments are prepared when, not if the unthinkable happens."

Professor Rosenfeld will be making a verbal presentation on Thursday 10 May at the upcoming Annual Scientific Congress, which will detail the methods, results and conclusion of his studies.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), in partnership with the American College of Surgeons (ACS), is hosting its 87th Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) this year at the Sydney International Convention Centre from 7-11 May for a series of workshops, discussions, plenaries and masterclasses.

For more information about the Annual Scientific Congress please visit: