When an emergency strikes, every second could mean the difference between saving or losing a life. You might not have a designated tourniquet with you to help with the injury; however, there are several everyday items you can substitute! In this blog post, we explore what can be used as a tourniquet to effectively stop bleeding until emergency medical help arrives.
What Does a Tourniquet Do?
A tourniquet is used to stop the flow of blood from an injury. It can be a lifesaver for wounds that are in especially hard-to-reach places, or where it's difficult to apply direct pressure.
When Should I Use a Tourniquet?
The key word here is "stop." Tourniquets help reduce the risk of the person bleeding out, an event in which an individual is losing too much-oxygenated blood. Therefore, a tourniquet should only be used as an emergency treatment for wounds that are spurting blood or where direct pressure can't be applied.
How Do I Use a Tourniquet?
The tourniquet should be placed on the limb between the wound and the heart. Usually, this means just below an arm or leg wound. You'll need to tighten it so that there's a constant feeling of pressure but not enough to where it will cause permanent damage like nerve or tissue damage.
If you have a hard time gauging how tight something is, try using a pressure gauge on your finger or wrist.
What Can Be Used as A Tourniquet? How to Make a Tourniquet of Everyday Items
Not everyone happens to have a tourniquet with them every time they leave their home, office, or store. However, you might have something similar on hand that could help save a life.
Wondering what can be used as a tourniquet in the event of an emergency? Read on to see how four everyday items could work!
Wearing sneakers or boots? Use them to your advantage!
A shoelace might not be the most attractive option, but it's one of the easiest. Simply remove your shoe and tie a knot on both ends of the lace. Make sure you leave enough room for circulation and avoid securing it to the point where it will cause permanent damage like nerve or tissue damage.
Belts are well suited to use as a tourniquet since they are already equipped with notches and a secured hook. Simply thread the belt through and loop it over, pulling tightly until there is enough pressure on your leg or arm that you don't feel any pain.
Once again you should make sure there is enough room for circulation, otherwise, it can cause nerve or tissue damage.
#3. Scarf, Bandana, or Necktie
Who knew accessories could save a life? Scarves, bandanas, and neckties alike can all effectively stop the bleeding from cuts or wounds.
Be sure to secure it around the wound tight enough while avoiding circulation loss by making a loop around your arm or leg with the other side of the fabric.
Again, as a critical reminder, you'll want to make sure this is on an extremity, not an area with a lot of tissue.
#4. ACE Bandage
The ACE Bandage is often included in emergency kit supplies, found in gyms, and can easily be purchased online. Suitable for use as an alternative tourniquet, ACE bandages cut down significantly on how much pressure must go into maintaining the knot.
This one also offers some versatility when it comes to tightening or loosening the bandage, making it even better for a variety of different injuries. To use one as an emergency tourniquet place it on top of the wound and wrap in towards your body, then tie it tightly by overlapping.
Do not forget to secure the tourniquet with a pin!
#5. Grocery Store Bag
Whether plastic or fabric, you could use a clean grocery store bag if you don't have the above items with you.
Place it on top of the wound and wrap in towards your body, then tie it tightly by overlapping with another piece of cloth to secure. However, if using a plastic bag, make sure it is thick enough to sustain tightening and won't break easily.
Highly Recommended Trauma Bleed Control Kits
In the case of emergencies and trauma, alert 911 as soon as you can. However, being prepared with bleed control training, bleed control kits, and emergency supplies mitigates some of the chaos and danger before emergency medical responders can respond to the scene. Caring for uncontrolled bleeding in the meantime gives students and staff a greater chance of surviving an injury.
C.A.T Bleeding Control Kit
The C.A.T Bleeding Control Kit is designed with intuitive, easy-to-use equipment to stop life-threatening bleeding. The kit contains the bleed control essentials, including a tourniquet, emergency trauma dressing, gauze, nitrile gloves, shears, and a survival blanket.
The C.A.T Bleeding Control Kit also includes a step-by-step “Just in Time” illustrated instruction card, allowing untrained providers to effectively use the contents of the kit to help save a life.
Efficient Bleed Control Training at School Safety Solution
The more well-informed you are by completing bleed control training, the more likely you are to remain calm, act rationally, and keep the situation under control while keeping your students and other staff members safe. Not to mention, if you fall victim to trauma, you’ll be ready and able to treat your wounds while waiting for medical professionals to arrive.
At School Safety Solution, we have a vested interest in keeping schools, offices, and other public entities as safe as possible by providing reliable, high-quality, and life-saving equipment. We understand that a minute can change everything. Our solutions are proactive in nature and simple-to-use in the event of a disaster.
To learn more about how our solutions and training kits can help save a life, contact our team today. We look forward to speaking with you!