Ever heard of the name tourniquet before? Chances are you’ve seen it but never knew what it was called. Well, not if you’re a medical professional though. It’s mostly used in times of emergency. We’d be covering what it is and why you might likely need it in this article. Keep reading to find out.
What is a tourniquet?
A tourniquet is an apparatus used to compress the veins and arteries of the arm. It is most often applied by medical professionals during emergency situations, such as when there has been significant blood loss from an accident or injury. The device consists of two parts: a strap that wraps around the limb being compressed, and a windlass rod that tightens against it.
Once properly in place, the tourniquet prevents blood from flowing through those veins and arteries by blocking them with its compression—thus stopping any more bleeding until help arrives. By doing this, it helps to prevent further blood loss and damage to the limb.
What Are The Benefits?
The tourniquet is a practical way to control severe bleeding until medical professionals arrive on the scene. It can be extremely useful in situations where there are severe wounds and loss of blood. Because it stops the bleeding and does not let anything through, it’s also a way to ensure that there is no more blood loss for an extended period of time until help arrives.
It can save lives when used properly in such emergency situations. That fact alone is reason enough to learn about this device and its uses—knowing what medical tourniquets do and how they work can help you to know if you should use one yourself, or if the time has come for you to call for professional medical attention. Learn more about how it’s used, why it’s helpful, and other information about the device so that you can be prepared.
For How Long Can The Tourniquet Stay Effective?
A tourniquet can stay effective for up to two hours before it needs to be released and retightened. This is a common time period in which emergency medical professionals will typically wait out. Assessments of the patient’s injuries are generally made every 30 minutes or so, however, ensuring that the situation has not worsened.
It is important never to use a tourniquet unless it’s necessary because doing so will significantly reduce the blood supply of the limb that it applies to. This can result in damage or death to that limb after too much time has passed, as blood flow will start to decrease and the tissues of the limb will no longer be able to receive any.
Why Is It Useful?
Tourniquets are mainly used to control severe blood loss in times of emergency, where other methods have failed. The good thing about tourniquets is that they don’t require much equipment to use them effectively. But it’s important to remember not to use this unless you really need it.
In this article, we’ve explored what a tourniquet is and why it’s useful. As you can see from the information shared here, there are many reasons for using a tourniquet which makes them an important tool to have on hand at all times.