Tourniquets space a frequent topic of discussion on the Mountain guy Medical YouTube channel and also I’ve to be seeing a many rumors. Most of this rumors come from the old ways of act things.

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All medicine is continually changing, year to year and sometimes month to month as scientists and doctors find for the best method to save a person alive, and also trauma is no exception.

If friend haven’t had any type of medical training for a couple of years you might not it is in up to day on the latest approaches for managing trauma. One of the most usual myths I view pop up is this:

“Tourniquets are a last resort. If you use a TQ, the victims hurt limb will be amputated.”

Not just is this wrong, but it’s really dangerous.


Now hold on, i don’t error anyone for reasoning this since it supplied to be taught as traditional practice. But, due to the fact that the war on Terror began, there have actually been plenty of cases to it is in studied and now we know this no true.

Lets first start v what’s walk on in the body when a TQ is applied.

Tourniquets are reliable for regulating a life-threatening bleed since it clamps down all the vessels offering blood to the extremity.

I’m sure you already knew that but let’s pretend that you didn’t for a moment.

Blood is delivering oxygen and also keeps the tissues alive. Without this essential oxygen, the tissues will die. The blood is also responsible for carrying away toxins the would construct up if not removed. Once a TQ is applied, blood stop moving and also neither of these necessary things bring away place.

So, the concern Becomes:

How long deserve to a tourniquet be applied before the tissues die from a lack of oxygen and a buildup that toxins, and also the limb need to be amputated?

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According come the National facility for Biotechnology information (NCBI):

“Muscle damages is almost complete through 6 hours, through likely required amputation. Numerous studies have been performed to identify the preferably duration that tourniquet use prior to complications. The basic conclusion is that a tourniquet have the right to be left in place for 2 h(ours) with tiny risk of irreversible ischaemic injury.”

Now it’s necessary to keep in mind that the study in-depth by the NCBI is looking an ext at Pneumatic Tourniquets instead of the windless layout like a CAT.


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NAR Combat applications Tourniquet C-A-T
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Riester 5255 Pneumatic Tourniquet

So, let’s look at more evidence.

According to Peter T. Pons, MD, FACEP:

“The experience got over the past 15 years of combat has clearly demonstrated the recommended, commercially accessible tourniquets can, in fact, be offered safely. Data from the U.S. Armed forces have displayed that survival for trauma victims who have actually a tourniquet applied before lock bleed right into shock is 9 times higher than for victims who get a tourniquet after they go into shock.

In addition, the data show that tourniquets can be safely applied to one extremity because that a period of as much as 2 hrs with no concern about amputation. In fact, there have been no amputations in the U.S. Armed forces as a direct an outcome of tourniquet applications in patients v an application time that 2 hours or less.”

This method that if you room injured in one area through an average EMS an answer time that 15 minutes and also 19 seconds, using a TQ has actually very little risk of requiring amputation.

It’s possible to bleed the end from a femoral artery in 2:30-3:00 minutes, so the risk of death before EMS can obtain on step is substantial, when the danger of amputation is low to none.

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The Takeaway:

Don’t be afraid to usage your TQ because that life threaten bleeds. Despite the danger of amputation is low, it’s still preferable to death.