What is a tourniquet?

Posted: January 09, 2014

WHAT'S ABOUT 2 feet long, made of fabric and can save someone's life if he's bleeding to death?

A tourniquet.

Tactical tourniquets like the ones now being carried by Philadelphia police officers are rooted in the same design that the Romans reportedly used during amputations: A strap is tied around the injured extremity and tightened with a lever until enough pressure is applied that blood flow to the area stops.

In the modern design, that lever is an aluminum rod known as a windlass. The user turns the windlass like a key until the tourniquet reaches the desired pressure.

The ones used by police also include a small strip of paper, which officers use to record the time at which the tourniquet was applied - essential information for hospital staff when the patient is transferred into their care.


Twitter: @Vellastrations

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|