How to Use a Tourniquet


So I’m going to show you how to make a basic improvised tourniquet using the contents of an
everyday family first aid kit. Within your first aid kit you should have a calico
triangular bandage and a pair of Tuff Cut scissors. Just remember that if you are
using your Tuff Cut scissors in order to tighten your tourniquet, then you will lose those scissors because you won’t be able to access them because they’ll be caught up. So if you don’t want
to lose your scissors, an ordinary table knife
is a very good option or something that is strong
enough that you can use because you are going
to be winding that up in order to create the pressure you need to stop the bleeding. So the first thing you need to do is get your triangular
bandage out of the packet and fold it into a broad bandage. So you’ll will fold it like that, you’ll fold it like this, and you’d fold it again. A tourniquet shouldn’t be less
than four centimetres wide because if you have it too narrow, it will actually cause localised damage because you’re going to put this on tight. The most important thing with tourniquets is that you put them on tight enough. If you put them on and you’re pushing the veins but the arteries are still bleeding, then the arteries will bleed in then they come out of the wounds because there’s no venous
return for them to come through. So if you’re using a tourniquet it needs to be put on really tight. And to put it on really tight, it will hurt the casualty a lot. Once you have made the decision that direct pressure will
not stop the bleeding, and you’ve made the decision
to go and use a tourniquet, then you will never be
undoing it or removing it. It can only be removed by a
doctor in a hospital setting. You need to explain to the
casualty that it will hurt them, however this is stopping the blood loss, and it will save their lives. Okay so you’ve got a wide bit of very strong material to be used as your tourniquet, and then you’ve got a pair
of scissors or a table knife to be used as your windlass to wind it up. Now we need a casualty. So you’ve made the decision
that direct pressure is insufficient to stop the bleeding. There is a lot of pulsating blood. This is serious, putting on
an improvised tourniquet, and not something you would do lightly. If the wound is here, what you’re trying to
do is put the tourniquet on a single bone. You’ve got two bones here, one bone here, single bone, as close
to the joint as possible because you want to save
as much tissue as possible. So you’d be looking to put
the tourniquet on there. If it was on a knee joint, you would never put a
tourniquet over the knee, but you’d put it just above. And if the wound was above the elbow, you’d put it five
centimetres above the wound. So you get your broad arm
bandage that you folded, and you put that round the arm like this, and you tie a knot tightly like that. You then get whatever you’re
going to use as your windlass to wind it up. This case we’re using a
pair of Tuff Cut scissors, and you are going to
tie that over the top, again like this. And then what you would do
is you would wind this up. So this is your windlass, and you’re going to wind
it as hard as you can in order to stop all the
blood coming out of the wound. Then what you do is you will need a second triangular bandage
or a second piece of material, and you would tie that
round in order to secure it, to make sure that that doesn’t unwind. It’s really important you
put this on tight enough, and it will hurt you a lot. So even if she is screaming with pain and asking you to remove it, once you have made the decision
to put this tourniquet on, it will only be removed
by a medical professional or a doctor in a hospital environment. And then really importantly, you need to write the time
that you applied this, and you need to get your
casualty transferred to emergency medical help very quickly.