A TQ is designed to encircle the limb with a wide strap that is then tightened with a windlass rod. As torque (by twisting) is applied to the rod, it tightens the strap making it compress the extremity (arm/leg) causing it to compress the blood vessels and subsequently decreases and stops blood flow past the application sight. In short, it can prevent you from bleeding out and dying while increasing the time you'll have to obtain aid to treat the injury.
TOURNIQUET CARRY AND STAGING
Keep a tourniquet (TQ) easily accessible and always stage one on-body when carrying a firearm. Stage it for quick application. This means; attached it (ankle, hip, fanny pack, etc) ony your person in the same place each time your wear it so it increases "muscle memory" allowing you to grab it and deploy with little complex thought (because when a TQ is needed there will already be much to process).
Assess the injury. If it is obvious that direct pressure will not slow or stop the bleeding a TQ is necessary. We dive deep into diagnosis and first-response trauma assessments in our Worst Case Scenario First-Aid Guide. The guides focuses on how to react and treat injuries/illnesses when EMS and Hospitals don't exist or are unavailable.
Apply the TQ to the injured leg and/or arm 2-3 inches above (the side closest to heart) the wound while avoiding joints. Do so by wrapping the strap around the extremity (can be expedited if the TQ is pre-staged with a large loop) ensuring that you run the strap through the outer polymer loop opening (friction buckle). Pull the strap as far (tight) as you can cinche around the extremity then attach it to the velcro. Tighten the windlass rod until the bleeding stops (or is manageable with additional TQs, pressure bandages, wound packing) then secure the rod in the windlass clip. Fold over the windlass strap and mark the time.
Train with your TQ by aiming for a decreased time (time it takes to collect and properly apply) and proper application. Also train with a simulated injured arm and apply using the one hand method.
Always keep a TQ at home, in your vehicle, and on your person (EDC) when applicable (such as when carrying firearm or in exposed public areas).
Pre-stage the TQ with the windlass strap open. Create a large loop and adhere end of TQ so it just barely attaches to itself on the end (red tab). This creates a slide on loop and skips the use of fine motor skills needed to run the tabbed end through the friction buckle.
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Let's dig in a little bit more.
- CAT tourniquet
- SOFT T - Wide tourniquet
- How to use a tourniquet
- Improvised tourniquet
- How to apply improvised tourniquet