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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tourniquet

Disclaimer: The rules and regulations for tourniquets are constantly changing, I will try to keep up but it's a never ending battle. There are some basic guidelines on how to make a tourniquet; from there you are free to use your own imagination. Basic Guidelines: don’t use shoe lace, or other thin strands of fiber, these can easily break and if they don’t they can actually do more damage by cutting into the flesh. Use something broader and less likely to act like a piece of dental floss wrapped around a block of cheese. I like the rule of thumb; as wide as your thumb or two of your fingers put together. Much wider and you’ll have a tough time tying it off. Make sure it’s strong enough to hold a good wrenching. Make sure it’s long enough to wrap around the arm or leg.
Okay, now that we have the guidelines out of the way lets cover the basics. You will need a lever of some sort, it can be a stick, screw driver, curling iron, butter knife (not the plastic kind). Take the strap you chose to use as a tourniquet and wrap it once around the limb two to four inches above the wound. (If it is near a joint try to go below the joint if you can, if you can’t then two to four inches above the joint). Tie half a knot then put your stick over the half knot and tie the other half so the stick is tied into the knot. You can tie one or two knots on top of this just to be safe. Once the stick is in place here is the important part, twist the stick just enough to significantly slow the bleeding. It doesn’t have to be 100% stopped. If you can stop the bleeding and still keep a pulse in the hand or foot, then you are an A+ medic. But keep in mind this is not always possible. Once you have the tourniquet to the desired tightness, tie one end of the stick down so it doesn’t accidently come undone. Using a permanent marker, write on the forehead of the patient the date and time the tourniquet was put on. (The time is more important than the date since people can remember dates better than time). Take said person to the hospital right away.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...I especially like the writing on the forehead part.
    This stuff is so useful! I have such a resourceful husband!
    ♥¸¸.•*¨*•♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

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