Tourniquets are gadgets too! Learn how to use them with the free Stop The Bleed Course

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News – Stop The Bleed is a free course developed by the American College of Surgeons and is available to the public to provide life-saving bleeding control skills to more people across our country. Where might you experience an acute bleeding emergency? Can you name a place where this is impossible?

This is a tourniquet. This is what happens if you don’t have… I won’t do that to you here, but imagine the consequences.

Tourniquets have been ‘back in’ as an appropriate and recommended emergency bleeding control measure for some years. When I did my EMT training before rubber gloves, LED emergency vehicle lights and digital communication systems, the tourniquet was almost strictly verboten. Its use was thought to guarantee a cut so it should only be used in extreme cases.

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Fast forward to today and tourniquets are (or should be) in emergency kits and training is free. The use of a tourniquet is now a highly recommended bleeding control technique for life-threatening bleeding from an extremity, if the victim is within two hours of emergency care, or if he or she is truly in the middle of nowhere. Control bleeding.

I just completed the Stop the Blade course developed by the American College of Surgeons. This course is offered through our local Community Safety and Response Educators organization and some local hospitals. You can check here for courses in your area. Stop the bleeding website

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If you don’t see a course in your area, it may still be offered. Check with local EMS/fire services and local hospitals to see if they offer ‘Stop The Bleed’. Not every course is featured on the Stop the Blade site.

You can take the course online. Here, but you will need to complete a live course for certification, and hands-on training is essential when learning lifesaving techniques. Live training is essential to get the simple techniques right and get questions answered by qualified professionals. It’s one thing to watch a trainer apply a tourniquet and turn a windshield twice on video. Handling the device, untying it from its velcro tangles, fitting it correctly onto the dummy leg and discovering how difficult the third turn of the windshield is. Not to mention wound packing. Where else can you practice it?

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Plan on spending $30 to $40 for a quality tourniquet from places like North American Rescue or My Medicor dozens of reputable local or online emergency supplies providers.

Please do not fall for the CAT (combat application tourniquet) style tourniquets recommended by online sellers who offer multipacks of four for $20. These are potentially dangerous knockoffs and will fail you at the worst possible moment. A reliable CAT tourniquet will cost about $30.

Here’s hoping you get the Stop the Blade training and never need it. This will be satisfying preparation if you are faced with a bleeding emergency, and may enable you to save the life of a friend, family member, or be an angel to a stranger.


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