The Truth About Tourniquets

Tourniquets…. Ahh Tourniquets.   How many of you think that if you use a tourniquet it will result in an amputation of that limb?  Truth is that tourniquets are safe, efficient, lifesaving tools.  Tourniquets should be the first line of defense for major bleeding from any extremity wound.  Studies have shown that the sooner you get a tourniquet put on the better. Your chances of survival increase by 80% if the tourniquet gets put on BEFORE shock sets in. Place the tourniquet on the limb, as high as possible, and tighten until the bleeding stops. Makeshift tourniquets aren’t nearly as effective as commercially available tourniquets, but they can work when used correctly.  With the availability, affordability, and ease of use, there is no excuse for not carrying a tourniquet.


It only takes 3 minutes to bleed out from a severe wound to the femoral artery, how long will it take you to control bleeding with a tourniquet?  The standard for time for tourniquet placement is 60 seconds.  Tourniquets are lifesaving tools that all personnel should have.  Each individual should have easy access to their own tourniquet within their outdoor medical kit, and know how to self-apply the tourniquet.