How much do you know about first aid? Have you ever found yourself in an extreme medical situation? Although nobody likes to go through these experiences, reality tells us that we have to be prepared. When blood is involved, for example, few instruments can be as useful as a tourniquet from a wound. Do you know what it is about?
If you’ve never heard of him, don’t worry. You have come to the right place. Tourniquets can make a big difference in serious health situations. Not everyone, however, knows how to take advantage of its benefits or take them into account when going on a trip, for example. In this specialized article, we will tell you all about it. Here we go!
The most important things about Tourniquet
- A tourniquet is a first aid medical instrument whose primary function is to compress the veins. For this reason, they are beneficial to stop bleeding, control blood flow or allow the rapid location of individual veins. Tourniquets are mostly types of elastic bands or bracelets.
- Using a tourniquet is very simple, whether for personal use or applying it to another person. Different types are depending on the materials and the way of service, but the mechanisms are similar. Tourniquets have also been standard instruments in military equipment.
- Having a tourniquet may be more important than you think. If you are looking in the market, you should probably consider specific purchase criteria: ease of use, reusability, adaptation to different parts of the body, and manufacturing materials.
The best tourniquet
Whether you go on a hike, drive, go camping, or on vacation, tourniquet are those instruments that you would never want to use, but that you must have just in case.
You never know when they can come in handy. Of course, there are many models on the market. If you don’t know how to choose, consider this selection with the best options available.
- Best Tactical Tourniquet
- Fastest use and release tourniquet
- The best combat or military tourniquet
- The best tourniquet in a first aid kit
Best Tactical Tourniquet
The Beiaosu tourniquet kit of 2 is perfect for anticipating any difficult situation. These tactical models are adjustable for both arms and legs of any size. They are made of nylon and cellulose, as well as being prepared for any weather condition.
These tourniquet take up little space and are light in weight; you can easily transport them in the car to take them with you.
Fastest use and release tourniquet
If you want to have a pack of tourniquet to put up in the blink of an eye, take advantage of Rolseley’s offer. There are three models made with a solid plastic stopper and a buckle, which allow you to put them on and take them off very quickly: use a single finger!
These three tourniquets are bright white, and the elastic band is made of polyester. They are 40 cm long.
The best combat or military tourniquet
If you are looking for maximum professionalism, you will be interested in this CAT tourniquet, combat officer of the United States Army. The fastening system is with a reinforced windlass and an obvious safety tab that includes a space to record the application time.
The CAT tourniquet is attached and used with one hand. Its double fixing system avoids the use of screws and clips.
The best tourniquet in a first aid kit
Time offers a high-quality tourniquet as part of a kit that includes first aid scissors, a portable bag, and a user manual. This pack is ideal for convenient storage in a car or when traveling.
Constructed from nylon, this tourniquet is easily attached with one hand. It is light, compact, and can be very useful in cases of bleeding or serious injuries.
Tourniquet Shopping Guide
What You Should Know About Tourniquet?
There are many first aid tools and techniques that we should all know. Especially when we embark on a trip or when we do extreme sports. Tourniquets are part of this mandatory list, both because of their utility and their effectiveness when it comes to acting. If you want to delve into its advantages, keep reading this section.
What exactly is a tourniquet?
A tourniquet, also called an elastic compressor, elastic band, or pressure cuff is a first aid medical instrument used to compress a vein. The need for this maneuver may be due to different reasons, but it is usually to stop bleeding. The use of tourniquet dates back hundreds of years.
What is the primary function of a turnstile?
The idea behind a tourniquet is to take advantage of its pressure on an injured limb, such as an arm or leg. Using this force, it is possible to control, maintain, or stop a hemorrhage during an emergency. The tourniquet is a life-saving instrument in cases where it is challenging to obtain doctors or health professionals’ help.
Is the use of a tourniquet enough to heal a wound or bleeding?
Absolutely! The tourniquet is not a long-term solution. Instead, it is a handy tool to buy time: it stops bleeding or bleeding until a health professional can see the person. Now, for this temporary solution to work, it is essential to know the correct way to place it so that there are no severe consequences.
How much pressure should be done with a tourniquet?
The action of the tourniquets is through compression of the muscle and other tissues. The pressure or force required for a tourniquet to compress the artery depends on the size of the limb and the width of the tourniquet itself. In general, the greater the circumference of a limb, the greater the stress that needs to be applied ( 1 ).
Usually, at a given tension, tourniquets that are wider are more effective in stopping or interrupting arterial blood flow. In this sense, narrow tourniquets may not be sufficient to apply the necessary pressure ( 2 ). However, this also depends on the injured limb and the size of the person himself.
How long should a tourniquet be left in place?
The time of application of the tourniquet, that is, the total time in which blood flow can be safely interrupted, is controversial. Studies carried out with experimental animals whose evidence shows that using a tourniquet for a few minutes can lead to alterations in muscle and nerve physiology. What doctors and other professionals recommend the most is that the tourniquet time ranges between 60 and 90 minutes. This period gives us the guarantee that the use is safe. However, the number may be lower when we speak of patients with advanced age, vascular diseases, or traumatic injuries.
Is a tourniquet the same as a compression bandage?
Although they serve similar functions, a compression bandage is not the same as a tourniquet. The latter is also a suitable instrument for the interruption of most hemorrhage cases, both in the extremities and in other parts of the body. In the table that follows, we show you some differences:
|Function||Necessary elements||Laying time||Do you need outside help?|
|Tourniquet||Putting pressure on the muscle to stop bleeding.||The same tourniquet and nothing else.||In a very few minutes (maximum two).||No. One hand is enough for most models.|
|Compressive bandage||Putting pressure on the muscle to briefly stop bleeding.||Large amounts of gauze and an elastic bandage.||Usually several minutes as it takes time to wrap the bandage over the wound.||Yes, doing it yourself is very complicated.|
How is a tourniquet correctly placed?
Medical and combat tourniquets are usually quite similar, so to place them correctly, follow a few simple steps. Before proceeding to apply it to the wound, it is crucial not to lose calm and analyze the victim’s condition. If there is no option other than its use, the instructions are as follows:
- Bring the tourniquet closer to the bleeding site by placing the injured limb in the loop.
- Pull firmly on the clamp and fix it on itself. Adhere the band around the limb and twist the rod until the bleeding stops.
- Place the rod inside the clip and lock it.
- Check the condition of the wound and apply additional tightening to the tourniquet if it continues to bleed.
- Attach the band to the rod inside the clip around the limb.
- Hold the rod with the strap and record the time applied (no more than 90 minutes).
How do you know the exact time to apply a tourniquet?
The first thing to do when an episode of blood loss occurs is to analyze the situation. If we are alone, we must try not to lose our cool. If we are accompanied or helping another person, whoever places the tourniquet must adopt a comfortable position. The steps to follow to know when to place a tourniquet are the following:
- Call the emergency services.
- Make sure the injured person is on their back with their legs raised.
- Analyze the source of the bleeding, that is, check where the blood is coming. Keep in mind that tourniquets are only placed on the extremities and never around head or torso injuries.
- Compress the wound: before applying the tourniquet, try to pressure the wound to prevent it from losing blood. If the bleeding stops, the tourniquet does not need to be used.
- Put on the tourniquet: If the blood keeps spilling, it is time to apply the tourniquet.
- Keep the wound as clean as possible.
What type of tourniquet are there?
The use of the tourniquet dates back hundreds of years, always with the same goal: to stop continuous bleeding. Initially, it was born in military contexts, but it evolved to apply in different areas over time. Today there are various tourniquet, as shown in the following table:
|Types of tourniquet||Context of use|
|Medical tourniquet||Personal. It is the model most typically chosen by civilians.|
|Pneumatic tourniquet||Modern surgery.|
|Emergency tourniquet||Improvised, from whatever material you have on hand (usually fabric). It is used in emergencies.|
|Clip-on or reusable tourniquet||First aid medical use, also chosen by civilians.|
|Tactical or military tourniquet||Used in extra-hospital emergencies by the military, paramedics or rescuers.|
What are the risks of misusing a tourniquet?
The fact of placing a tourniquet requires following precise steps. If these recommendations are not followed, this instrument’s use may generate some risks to the patient’s health. For example, if it is too tight or left for a long time, it can lead to paralysis of the limb in question. On the other hand, it is essential that once in place, you do not loosen the pressure of the tourniquet, not even for a few seconds. Additional risks that the misuse of a tourniquet can cause are cell death, tingling, and specific nervous atrophy. When in doubt, it is best to wait for emergency medical services.
Best Tourniquet Purchase Criteria
If you are involved in risky activities or if you practice extreme sports, it may not be a bad idea to have a tourniquet in your necessary equipment. Today, tourniquets are one of the most fundamental elements of first aid. If you are not sure which type to choose, we recommend that you follow some excellent purchase criteria:
- Rods and clips
If you want your chosen tourniquet to be effective against bleeding, you need to make sure it can withstand the pressure exerted. In this sense, avoid fabric tourniquets or those whose seams look weak. Choose the ones made of nylon and cellulose, as they are the ones that best resist strumming and force.
Tourniquet of different sizes abound on the market. They are generally divided into the widest and the narrowest. Given a choice, the first ones are better since they are more effective in pressure and better cover the muscle’s circumference. Anyway, this factor also depends on the size of each person.
Rods and clips
The best tourniquets are those that include rods and clips in their structure. These accessories are essential, as they greatly facilitate the tourniquet’s application and ensure that it is firmly attached to the muscle. Therefore, it is the most reliable way to make sure that the bleeding stops completely.
The tourniquet is a first aid instrument whose function is based on the compression of veins and arteries to interrupt or stop bleeding, among other uses. The efficiency of tourniquets is proven in the medical world, and its origin dates back many centuries, especially in the military field. Today they can save many lives if applied correctly.
There are different types of tourniquet depending on the context, but they all follow the same goal. It is not recommended to keep a tourniquet applied for more than 90 minutes, and it must be remembered that it is not a long-term solution. Instead, the tourniquet seeks to buy time until healthcare professionals can take care of the wound.