Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Prudent Prepping: Tourniquet Etiquette

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping. 

In a previous post I said that I wanted to learn how to use a tourniquet correctly. The Red Cross doesn't have a first aid class for months, so I took matters into my own hands... so to speak.

That Hurts!
I know a firefighter/EMT from the gun store, so I looked him up. He showed me how to apply a tourniquet, first on my arm and then on my leg.Since he didn't want his picture taken for privacy reasons I can't show you what I learned, but I can post  a short video which summarizes and expands on what my friend told me.

What isn't very clearly stated in this video is that, to get the blood flow to stop, you really, REALLY have to wind that sucker down! In order to reach the point where I couldn't feel a pulse in my wrist, the windlass was tightened so much that it was painful. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure which would hurt worse, an injury which needed a tourniquet or the tourniquet itself.

Not Feeling Is Good
I did notice a little loss of feeling below the tourniquet after it was on for a few minutes. I was told this is pretty normal when blood flow is reduced, very similar to when your foot 'goes to sleep' when you cross your legs. The flow of blood below is halted, but in most cases, leaving a tourniquet on for as long as an hour will not do permanent harm. Compare that to an arterial bleed where you can die from blood loss in less than 2 minutes!

Going Forward
I'm going to buy at least one more tourniquet to have in a separate first aid pack and figure out how to carry one with me all the time. Erin and I have a joking disagreement on the Batman Utility Belt look (I don't necessarily hate it and she doesn't mind it), but the usefulness of having a tourniquet at hand all the time is pretty clear. My dress code may be changing.

The Takeaway
  • Lots of injuries may kill you, but the vast majority of the time it's actually the loss of blood that's lethal and not the injury itself. 

The Recap
  • Nothing was purchased this week, but some really good knowledge was gained from a friend (who is getting a gift card from a classy pizza place!). 
  • That screaming deal on tourniquets is still there, but they're low or out-of-stock at the moment. If you don't have one, you should check the deal out.

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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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