Tourniqet

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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Just wanted to find out whether people carry tourniqets and what for? Seems to be quite common in a lot of northern hemisphere countries but I have never seen anyone carry one in Australia.
The only injury which I can imagine they would be great for is a femoral artery bleed, especially because in the time it would take to improvise one the patient could die, I also noticed they are actually a very leightweight first aid item.
So would love to hear people’s thoughts.
 

odgens

Les Stroud
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I carry a cat tourniquet, always been a part of my first aid kits. Used them a lot when i worked overseas, dealt with a lot of ballistic trauma/amputation and they were invaluable for this
 

Totumpole

Lofty Wiseman
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I have seen patients saved by the use of an improvised tourniquet in some regional retrievals, but it is uncommon (and usually involved heavy machinary or large water based man eating creatures). Maybe I am missing the inside scoop on those that never made it to hospital because of the failure to provide or improvise a tourniquet in the time frame required. I personally wouldn't carry a specific tourniquet, but instead ensure I have at least 1 thing that is immediately available to improvise with. My go to would be a sturdy belt and a sturdy clamp to maintain tension. Whatever you use (or plan to use) should be a minimum of two inches wide to generate adequate deep pressure. I do not personally see the benefit to carrying a commercial tourniquet on my person because it serves only a single function, for an uncommon injury.

Having said that, I only really carry the appropriate clamps in my car based FAK/trauma kit, where the addition of a tourniquet wouldn't really make a weight or space issue anyway. The reason I carry a more comprehensive trauma FAK in my car is that I am more likely to come across the need to use it by road. In the scenario of a road traffic accident with mangled limbs, car seatbelts make excellent tourniquet material and, along with the trusty clamp, would be my go to over my belt (seeing as I don't carry commercial tourniquets). Maybe I will revisit the inclusion of at least one appropriate clamp in my pack for any journey on foot.

On another note, I would only ever recommend using a tourniquet (improvised or otherwise) if you are adequately trained in there use. If they are inappropriately applied (i.e. below the arterial blood pressure) they will in fact not stem arterial bleeding and make venous bleeding worse due to impeding venous drainage. High and tight, if it doesn't hurt like hell its not on tight enough. Be aware that bleeding may come on later as the persons condition improves due to a higher blood pressure that might overcome the previously adequate pressure exerted by the tourniquet.

From what I have seen, many Americans do seem to love carrying tourniquets in their FAK, but then they also frequently have a handgun in their daily carry...
 

odgens

Les Stroud
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Having said that, I only really carry the appropriate clamps in my car based FAK/trauma kit, where the addition of a tourniquet wouldn't really make a weight or space issue anyway. The reason I carry a more comprehensive trauma FAK in my car is that I am more likely to come across the need to use it by road. In the scenario of a road traffic accident with mangled limbs, car seatbelts make excellent tourniquet material and, along with the trusty clamp, would be my go to over my belt (seeing as I don't carry commercial tourniquets). Maybe I will revisit the inclusion of at least one appropriate clamp in my pack for any journey on foot.
Appreciate your input but can't say i really agree with this. In an car accident seat belts will not always be accessible, due to the nature of the accident or the condition of the car. The black colour of the belt also makes it hard to mark with application time of the tourniquet unless you've got a white marker. It also adds another step to what could be a very stressful time is life situation

Totally understand its a very rare injury which might need one of these to be applied but i wouldn't exclude it because its uncommon. I guess it also comes down to your situation and tailoring your FAK to suit.

On another note, I would only ever recommend using a tourniquet (improvised or otherwise) if you are adequately trained in there use. If they are inappropriately applied (i.e. below the arterial blood pressure) they will in fact not stem arterial bleeding and make venous bleeding worse due to impeding venous drainage. High and tight, if it doesn't hurt like hell its not on tight enough. Be aware that bleeding may come on later as the persons condition improves due to a higher blood pressure that might overcome the previously adequate pressure exerted by the tourniquet.

From what I have seen, many Americans do seem to love carrying tourniquets in their FAK, but then they also frequently have a handgun in their daily carry...
Agree with this 110%, like all first aid equipment...you need to be trained correctly unless you may end up doing more harm then good.
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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I think improvising a tourniqet is quite easy but is it likely to take too long when needed in the heat of the moment?
Just thought I would add most of the ones I looked at only weigh about 80g.
 
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Le Loup

John McDouall Stuart
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Just wanted to find out whether people carry tourniqets and what for? Seems to be quite common in a lot of northern hemisphere countries but I have never seen anyone carry one in Australia.
The only injury which I can imagine they would be great for is a femoral artery bleed, especially because in the time it would take to improvise one the patient could die, I also noticed they are actually a very leightweight first aid item.
So would love to hear people’s thoughts.
I think a bandage should work just fine as a tourniquet, & we should all be carrying bandages in our medical kits. I think a pressure pad/wound dressing & a bandage are probably a better option than just a tourniquet. I always carried a wound dressing in my pocket when on duty.
Keith.
 
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Randall

Les Hiddins
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If I needed a tourniquet, I'd want a tourniquet. You need a bucket load of pressure to stop an arterial bleed - it's really desperate stuff. I'd probably faint with blood spraying everywhere. I've seen how one needs to be applied - it's really full on trying to stop someone from bleeding out literally in a minute or less. This gives you an idea. No, I don't carry one. A roller bandage and dressings etc. A bandage and a stick or tactical pen might work (put the stick or tactical pen under the bandage and start twisting). It's all time though. Or lay the stick along the good part of the limb and bandage it up too, really tight, then twist the stick?
 
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Kindlling

Malcolm Douglas
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Good thing for surfers and beach goers to have , especially w.a south east.
A few lives been saved after shark attacks that way, amazing really how somebody can often be Jonny on the spot , with the right gear and medical know how.
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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Good thing for surfers and beach goers to have , especially w.a south east.
A few lives been saved after shark attacks that way, amazing really how somebody can often be Jonny on the spot , with the right gear and medical know how.
You can actually get a surfing leash designed to be used as a tourniqet
 

Randall

Les Hiddins
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I think improvising a tourniqet is quite easy but is it likely to take too long when needed in the heat of the moment?
Just thought I would add most of the ones I looked at only weigh about 80g.
I'd be interested in something like that. I've only seen the cat ones, like odgen mentioned. They're awesome, but a bit of space when you already have a fair bit of gear.
 
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MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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It is the CAT tourniqet that only weighs 80grams, they don’t seem very bulky. Having a look online and apparently there are a lot of fake copies around so best to make sure you buy one from a reputable source.
 
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