Choosing the Right Tourniquet for you

Several pieces of medical equipment have been used by people since the beginning to assist in the treatment of patients. This equipment changed shapes and became more efficient in design as time passed. Some of these pieces of equipment have such an ancient history that they have been used by people for centuries now. Such a piece of medical equipment that has been used by people from ancient times is known as a tourniquet. Known for their numerous benefits in medical treatments and emergency caregiving, these tourniquets have become an essential part of medical treatment and help greatly in saving the lives of patients.

 

What is a tourniquet?

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Tourniquet

 

A tourniquet is medical equipment that helps to apply pressure to a limb or extremity to prevent blood flow. As blood is an essential resource for the human body to function properly, it is highly important to save it at all costs. Due to this reason, tourniquets are used. These tourniquets work by occluding the nerves to reduce or stop blood flow. These tourniquets are used in military campaigns, medical settings, and, emergency caregiving situations and are indeed lifesavers.

 

How can you choose the right tourniquet for you?

Tourniquets are commonly used by healthcare professionals or emergency caregivers to help control bleeding till you are shifted to the hospital. As these tourniquets are medical devices, you will need some training to apply these to yourself or anyone who is bleeding. However, it does not mean that you cannot use tourniquets for your safety. The choice of the right tourniquet for you depends upon several factors including the cost, risk factor, your level of training, and, the situation which you are in. The selection of the most appropriate tourniquet for you needs to be carefully done by observing all of these factors. The following factors must be considered carefully to make the most appropriate choice of tourniquet for you.

  • Level of risk

Some people are more at risk than others because of the activities or occupations they have. For example, people who carry a firearm or operate a chainsaw are at a higher risk of injury than a person working in a general store. Also, people who are mostly on the roads are at a higher risk of facing serious accidents. In these situations, it can prove beneficial for you to have a tourniquet with you at all times. This can be used in any emergency and can help you to save your as well as other people’s lives.

  • Level of training

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Training for applying a tourniquet

 

Only having a tourniquet is not enough, you will also need the proper training to apply it. Therefore, one of the most important factors you need to consider while choosing the right tourniquet for you is your level of training. You should use the one which you are familiar with. Even using the simplest tourniquet during an emergency can become a challenging task due to the high stress of the situation. Therefore, you must do proper training on applying a tourniquet, especially on yourself to make sure that you become familiar with its use. The level of training can help you to become more confident in handling emergency situations and save your as well as other people’s lives.

  • Quality assurance

As tourniquets are medical devices, these devices are manufactured according to the standards provided by FDA. Before buying a tourniquet, you must check the authenticity of the tourniquet and buy it only from a trusted source. This will help you to get the most suitable and original product for your safety.

  • Cost

The cost of the tourniquet varies according to the type of tourniquet you buy. Some tourniquets are more advanced while others are not. This makes the prices differ from each other. Institutions, especially which equip a large number of people or prepare for a mass-casualty incident, have major concerns regarding costs as they need to make arrangements according to the budgets these institutions have. As for personal use, you should buy a tourniquet that is easy for you to use and get proper practice with applying it again and again on different limbs.

  • Access to the tourniquet

The tourniquet you keep with yourself must be near you at all times. This means always carrying the tourniquet with you whenever you are out. Whether at your job or on road, always keep the tourniquet close to you. For example, the SWAT-T is the flattest package that fits in a pocket and is easy to carry anywhere. For this reason, you should choose the tourniquet which is easy for you to carry at all times.

 

Things to keep in mind while using a tourniquet

Although tourniquets are lifesavers, they can also be risky. They can cause serious consequences including skin damage, muscle damage, and nerve damage. For this reason, it is important to use the correct tourniquet width, minimize the time of application of the tourniquet, and, apply the lowest effective pressure. If these factors are not considered seriously, they can cause major harm to a person. Also, the timing of applying the tourniquet should be noted as applying a tourniquet for longer than two hours can cause serious harm to a person.

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Application of a tourniquet

 

Conclusion

Tourniquets are specialized medical devices that have been used for centuries by mankind to solve the problem of extreme blood loss during major operations, amputations, and, emergencies. These tourniquets constrict the blood vessels to help reduce blood flow. Due to the efficacy tourniquets provide in preventing blood loss, these have become an essential part of many military campaigns, medical settings, and emergency caregiving institutions. Although tourniquets can be made using a clean cloth and a stick, you might need to buy an actual one to use in case of emergencies. For choosing the right tourniquet for yourself, you must consider all the factors that are discussed above to find the most appropriate match for your needs. Only by doing this, you can find the best match for your needs and save yourself and others also.

uzma e1714761913269

PhD Scholar (Pharmaceutics), MPhil (Pharmaceutics), Pharm D, B. Sc.

Uzma Zafar is a dedicated and highly motivated pharmaceutical professional currently pursuing her PhD in Pharmaceutics at the Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab. With a comprehensive academic and research background, Uzma has consistently excelled in her studies, securing first division throughout her educational journey.

Uzma’s passion for the pharmaceutical field is evident from her active engagement during her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) program, where she not only mastered industrial techniques and clinical case studies but also delved into marketing strategies and management skills.

Throughout her career, Uzma has actively contributed to the pharmaceutical sciences, with specific research on suspension formulation and Hepatitis C risk factors and side effects. Additionally, Uzma has lent her expertise to review and fact-check articles for the Health Supply 770 blog, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information presented.

As she continues her PhD, expected to complete in 2025, Uzma is eager to contribute further to the field by combining her deep knowledge of pharmaceutics with real-world applications to meet global professional standards and challenges.