Tourniquet Use in the Civilian Sector

Should you be concerned with carrying an effective tourniquet?  We think so.  Short transport times do not stop bleeding, effective tourniquets do. In fact, studies have shown that ineffective tourniquets can INCREASE your rate of bleeding.  If you think a short transport time is a given, or that tourniquet effectiveness is a small concern, then read the below email we received from an NY State officer and the corresponding NY Times article(nytimesarticle1.pdf): 

“I thought you might like to know, that your product, the SOF tqt was utilized successfully on 4/25/07.  While conducting a search of a residence located in a rural area of upstate NY, several of my teammates came under fire from a subject armed with a 30.30 rifle, and a 22 cal pistol.  One operator was struck by a 30.30 rifle round in his L/distal humerous.  As the round passed through the operator’s arm, approximately 2” of his distal humerous was completely blown out, along with a large amount of soft tissue.

The brachial artery was also severed.  After retreating to a position of cover, the operator attempted self-aid by applying an SOF tqt superior to the wound.  After being assisted by another operator, the tqt was properly applied, and the operator was able to successfully tamponade the severed artery.  The wounded operator was evacuated and airlifted to a regional trauma center, and he remains in stable condition (he’s going to need several more surgeries, but it looks like he is going to keep his arm)  The trauma doc stated that the application of the Tqt probably saved the operator’s life.   I’m attempting to convince my supervisors to purchase apprx 100 more of tyour SOF tqts.  Thanks.”

Should you be concerned with carrying a tourniquet and its effectiveness?  

Next time, we will address tourniquets and scientific studies.