A tourniquet or compression bandage is a tight band that is placed around a limb such as an arm or leg to help stop heavy bleeding. It should never be utilized except in a real emergency situation. When profuse bleeding coming from a wound cannot be stopped by any other means, then a tourniquet may have to be applied. This is how to do it:
Right above the wound a flat band or strip of cloth is wrapped twice around the leg or arm. A large handkerchief or a necktie may be used. Tie a single knot in this and thenhold a small stick on top of the knot then tie two more knots. Gently turn the stick until the band is tight enough to stop the bleeding. Do not tighten it any further than this.
Take note of the time you applied the tourniquet.
Keep in mind that a tourniquet should only be used when all other means of controlling bleeding has failed. When a tourniquet has been applied and the patient is about to be transferred to a medical facility, write the letter “T” on his or her forehead using a soft tip pen, eyeliner or lipstick if available. This will guide the medical staff in caring for the patient.
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