First-Aid How to Treat a Bleeding Wound Part 2 Tourniquets

About how to treat a bleeding wound, tips and instructions on best methods to stop blood flow, how to apply a tourniquet.


How to apply a tourniquet:

a) Place the tourniquet between the bleeding wound and the heart.

b) Use any material such as rubber tubing, a belt, tie, strip of cloth, stockings.

c) Wrap the material tightly around the limb and tie a half, open knot.

d) Lay a strong, short piece of wood or similar item horizontally over the half knot, and tie a full, closed knot over the stick to secure it in place.

e) Twist the stick around in a circle to tighten the tourniquet. Keep twisting until it stops the bleeding. It should be tight enough to block the circulation.

f) Fix the stick in the tightened position with a bandage and tape, or with the loose end of the tourniquet, or any other device.

NOTE: Use a tourniquet ONLY if a severe, life-threatening hemorrhage exists and blood loss cannot be controlled by pressure at the nearest pressure points or by other means. The tourniquet technique is a LAST-RESORT decision in which you have decided to risk loss of the limb to save the patient's life. Once applied, it should NOT be loosened; if blood clotting has occurred, loosening may permit a clot to be released into the patient's system, with potentially fatal results. After a tourniquet is in place, the attention of a doctor is an absolute must. Put the initials, TNT (for "tourniquet"), on the patient's forehead, using blood, lipstick, etc. Somewhere, in written form (note attached to shirt collar or other highly visible location), indicate the exact minute for tourniquet application (9:53 P.M., etc.) to warn the doctor. Tourniquet removal in 10-15 minutes (much emergency-room care is less than 10 minutes away) may not effect the chances of saving the limb; beyond 30 minutes, amputation is almost a foregone conclusion.

6. If the wound goes deep into the head, neck, chest, or abdomen, see below under Special Deep Wounds.

7. Treat the person for shock.

8. Carefully take the patient in a prone position to a doctor for cleansing of the wound, stitching, possible tetanus shot, etc.

9. If a part of the body is severed, do not put the severed part in any fluid. Instead, place it in a clean piece of cloth or in a clean empty container for the doctor. If possible, alert the physician or hospital in advance of your arrival as to the nature of the wound, so that they can make necessary preparations.

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