We’ve covered how to put together a proper Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK). One staple of any good kit is a tourniquet. This live-saving piece of steel and fabric is used to stop arterial bleeding in extremities subjected to severe trauma. A tourniquet can come in handy just about anywhere, anytime: From a gunshot wound, an automotive or recreational vehicle accident, a workplace injury, or even a steep fall on a hike. But, applying a tourniquet isn’t as simple as throwing the band around a limb, cinching it down, and calling it a day.
Applying a tourniquet incorrectly can lead to death. If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation requiring a tourniquet, you’re probably going to be under extreme stress. Mistakes will be easy to make and difficult to fix. So, let’s go over how to properly apply a tourniquet and, more importantly, cover what you shouldn’t do when stopping a severe bleed.
Back in my EMT days, I dealt with some pretty severe bleeding, but never actually ended up applying a tourniquet. It is something I have practiced since Scouts.