URBANA, Ill. (WAND)- Efforts to stop severe bleeding in emergencies are protected by state law, attorneys say.

In recent years, a national push called Stop the Bleed has taught people from all backgrounds to pack wounds or use tourniquets.

“If our community members can learn how to control bleeding, either by packing a wound or applying a tourniquet, this is something that can save a life,” said Tamara Leone, an RN at Memorial Medical Center.

After a recent WAND report on a Stop the Bleed course, some viewers asked whether people who are not medical personnel risk legal liability by using skills learned in such courses. We took the question to attorney Anthony Bruno, a partner with Bruno Law Offices in Urbana.

“Illinois’ Good Samaritan Act protects people of all professions and laypeople who try to administer first aid or protect someone who’s in distress,” Bruno said. “The public policy behind that is, in a bleeding case, we don’t want somebody to die of blood loss, and the injuries that could result from somebody improperly treating that condition are less of a concern for society than somebody dying of exsanguination.”

The law also protects medical workers who render aid in emergencies outside of their job and without pay, Bruno said.