About Tourniquets.

What’s a Tourniquet?

A Tourniquet is a device used for constricting or halting the flow of blood through a vein or artery, normally can be done using the right knowledge and equipment from primitive to even tactical items specifically created to help effectively compress a limb.

How To Apply?

Some tourniquets have specifical instructions for applying them proficiently and efficiently. Typically though, a tourniquet can be applied by tieing the tourniquet device around the injured leg or arm, several inches above the injury going towards the heart. When the injury is below the elbow or knee, you may need to tie it above the joint, you can use a common square knot, still placing it on the part closer to the heart on the wounded limb not on the other side away from the heart on the injured area. If done right, it will cut off the blood flow stopping the victim from bleeding out. If possible, as another way to check if you applied the tourniquet right, you can check for a pulse below the tourniquet; no pulse should exist there. 

When it’s needed?

Typically after looking at a wounded limb and thinking somewhere along the lines of, “holy s… that’s a lot of blood!” But, mainly when you or multiple victims have uncontrollable bleeding coming from a partially amputated or amputated arm or leg that can no longer be effectively hindered by using bleeding control methods, such as applying pressure and bandges to the wound. Just remember that every second can count when it comes to saving lives especially if there is someone bleeding out heavily and multiple victims.

Types of Tourniquets?

  • Military Emergency Tourniquet, Aka (MET)
  • Combat Application Tourniquet, Aka (CAT)
  • Special Operations Forces Tourniquet, Aka (SOF-T) also a SOF-T Wide.
  • Mechanical Advantage Tourniquet, Aka (MAT)
  • Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet, Aka (RMT)
  • Emergency Medical Tourniquet (EMT)
  • Band Devices such as SWAT-T, TK4, NATO Tourniquet and more.

Improvising?

If you don’t have any type of tourniquet on you, all you need is the knowledge on how to apply a tourniquet and what you can use to improvise one, until more trained or advanced professionals arrive. What you need is Basically three things,

  1. Material – some type of band to wrap around the extremity that is at least 1/2 an inch.
  2. Windlass – A rigid object that twists the material, stopping the blood flow.
  3. Securing Mechanism – Something to prevent the windlass from unwinding.

Improvised Material options?

  • Ace Bandage
  • scarves
  • nylon webbing
  • rope, paracord
  • bandanas
  • necktie
  • Any fabric long enough to wrap around a limb
  • and more.

Improvised Windlass options?

  • Folded pocket knife
  • Sturdy stick
  • Jack handle
  • broom handle
  • Carabiner
  • long cutting end of scissors closed
  • and more.

Improvised Securing Mechanism options?

  • keyrings
  • solid rubberband
  • hair ties
  • pop tabs
  • bottle rings
  • closed scissors, handle part.
  • and more

Common courtesy.

Make sure to write down the time you finished applying the Tourniquet. It will help the medical professionals out.

Risks?

Could lose from where the tourniquet was applied on the limb going out towards its extremity.

Benefits?

Can save your life or others.