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Tourniquets: Top Tips

tourniquet first aid



Our Top Tips

If you find yourself in the middle of a medical emergency where life-threatening bleeding is involved, using a tourniquet will sometimes be your best option until medical assistance arrives. Here at First Aid Accident & Emergency, we’re very familiar when it comes to the most up-to-date first aid techniques and equipment including the best use of tourniquets.

We’ve decided to share some of our knowledge with you on tourniquets, including a summary of what they are and how to use them. 

What is a tourniquet?

A tourniquet is a device used to reduce the blood flow to a limb in the event of life-threatening bleeding. The overall purpose of the tourniquet is to prevent the body from losing too much blood. The tourniquet applies pressure to the limb which limits the blood flow to the affected area.

There are specially designed tourniquets that you can purchase to add to your first aid kit. There are also methods available to create a DIY tourniquet in the event of an emergency when you’re limited to first aid supplies. This will usually involve using a stick and a piece of rope or similar materials that are available to you at the time.

Are they safe to use?

Tourniquets are still widely accepted in emergencies when there’s life-threatening bleeding. There has often been controversy in regards to tourniquets and whether they can cause further harm to the body. Tourniquets have been tested and found to cause no harm to the body when applied for up to two hours. The correct time to use a tourniquet is when attempts of applying pressure have failed to control the bleeding or limb hemorrhage.

What’s the best way to apply a tourniquet?

If life-threatening bleeding has occurred, the first thing to do is contact 000.

Whilst waiting for medical assistance to arrive, we recommend that you apply the tourniquet horizontal, high and tight to the affected limb. Next, use the windless to tighten the tourniquet as much as possible. Check to see if the pressure has stopped any of the bleeding. If needed, you can apply a second tourniquet (this is often needed for a leg). The last step is to pack the wound with a dressing or whatever you have available to you such as a t-shirt. Just don’t use a towel—they will suck too much blood out of the wound!

Be prepared for any medical emergency:

Learn more about the best methods to manage life-threatening bleeding by considering one of the many first aid courses offered here at FAAE. We provide a complete range of first aid and CPR training courses that will ensure you’re prepared for minor and major injuries and illnesses.

Purchasing a defibrillator is another great way to ensure your home or workplace is prepared for a medical emergency—check out our online shop today.

Book a first aid course today!

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