Applying a tourniquet is easier than you may realize and at around $30, it’s less expensive than a week of coffee. Are you out of excuses yet? Stopping blood loss saves lives and seconds count when you’re bleeding out.
To apply a tourniquet, orient it so that the direction of pull is towards the midline of the body. Place the tourniquet as high as possible on the injured limb, but never place it on a joint. Grab the loop of the tourniquet and pull toward the center line. By not grabbing the tail of the tourniquet first, you’ll prevent it from spinning and control it much better during one-handed application.
Next, pull the tail of the tourniquet to remove as much slack as possible. If there’s still slack left, grab and move the base of the tourniquet and remove the remaining slack. Now turn the windlass of the tourniquet until the bleeding stops, or is controllable or manageable. Next anchor the windlass by locking the end into the retention clip or d-ring.
Lastly, remember to note the time that the tourniquet was applied so that higher echelon care will know how long the tourniquet has been on for.
Practice makes perfect and you should be practicing these steps so you can deploy and apply a tourniquet in less than 12 seconds.
Click here to check out more information on the SOFTT-W Tourniquet!