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 from a wound, few instruments can be as useful as a tourniquet. 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
- A tourniquet is a first aid medical instrument whose primary function is to compress the veins. For this reason, they are very useful to stop bleeding, control blood flow or allow the rapid location of certain veins. Tourniquets are mostly types of elastic bands or bracelets.
- Using a tourniquet is very simple, whether it is for personal use or to apply it to another person. There are different types depending on the materials and the way of use, 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 certain purchase criteria: ease of use, reusability, adaptation to different parts of the body and manufacturing materials, among others.
The best turnstiles on the market: our recommendations
Whether you go on a hike, drive, go camping or on vacation, turnstiles 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, take a look at 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 to anticipate any serious 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 turnstiles 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 turnstiles to put up in the blink of an eye, take advantage of Rolseley’s offer. There are 3 models made with a solid plastic stopper and a buckle, which allow you to put them on and take them off very easily: just use a single finger!
These 3 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 a highly visible safety tab that includes a space to record the time of application.
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.
Shopping Guide: What You Should Know About Turnstiles
What exactly is a tourniquet?
What is the main function of a turnstile?
Is the use of a tourniquet enough to heal a wound or bleeding?
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 at least interrupting arterial blood flow. Narrow tourniquets, in this sense, 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. There are studies carried out with experimental animals whose evidence shows that the use of 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, with vascular diseases or with traumatic injuries.
Is a tourniquet the same as a compression bandage?
|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, just follow a few simple steps. Before proceeding to apply it on the wound, it is important not to lose calm and analyze the condition of the victim. 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 from. 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 put pressure on 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 turnstiles are there?
|Types of turnstiles||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 using a tourniquet incorrectly?
The fact of placing a tourniquet requires following precise steps. If these recommendations are not followed, the use of this instrument 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. Other risks that the misuse of a tourniquet can cause are: cell death, tingling and certain nerves atrophy. When in doubt, it is best to wait for emergency medical services.
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 basic 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 useful 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.
Turnstiles of different sizes abound on the market. They are generally divided into the widest and the narrowest. Given the choice, the first ones are better, since they are more effective in pressure and better cover the circumference of the muscle. 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 application of the tourniquet 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 in order 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 turnstiles 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, furthermore, it must be remembered that it is not a long-term solution. Rather, the tourniquet seeks to buy time until healthcare professionals can take care of the wound.