Importance of Tourniquets
"By the end of 2011...preventable deaths from extremity hemorrhage had dropped from the 7.8 percent noted in the previously mentioned Kelly study to 2.6 percent, a decrease of 67 percent."
"The U.S. Central Command…mandated in 2005 that all individuals deploying to that combat theater be equipped with tourniquets and hemostatic dressings."
"This study, conducted by Tom Walters, MD, and colleagues, recommended three tourniquets for use by the military: the Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T),
the Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet (SOFTT), and the Emergency and Military Tourniquet (EMT). All these tourniquets had been proven in the laboratory to be 100 percent effective in stopping arterial blood flow to extremities."
"Average tourniquet time for these patients was about 77 minutes. After multivariable analysis, the non-tourniquet group had almost six times greater odds of death than the group of patients who received a tourniquet.
“This is the first time that we were actually able to prove the survival benefit of using the tourniquet in the civilian population,” said lead study author Pedro Teixeira, MD, FACS, of the University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School."
- Not using a tourniquet, or waiting too long to apply it
- Not making tourniquet tight enough to eliminate distal pulse
- Not using a second tourniquet, which is sometimes needed on the thigh
- Periodically loosening a tourniquet
- Improper use of improvised tourniquet
- Packing wound with hemostatic gauze and assuming you are done
- Letting victims discomfort and pain interfere with what you need to do
- Doing nothing when adequate medical supplies are not available