There are a lot of different first aid kits available on the market today. Some are general-purpose or “boo-boo” kits, while others have a more specific purpose.
It’s a fair assumption that most people have general-purpose kits because they are more widely available, cheaper, and user-friendly. Kits that have a more specific purpose tend to be more expensive, and they come with items that the general public doesn’t have the knowledge or training to use.
However, there is one item that advanced kits have that all kits should have, and that is a proper tourniquet.
What is a Tourniquet?
A tourniquet is a simple device that consists of a band and a tensioning rod. It is used on limb injuries to stop blood loss when general blood loss control methods fail.
How Does it Work?
The tourniquet band is wrapped around a limb just above the site of a wound. The tension rod is then turned to tighten the band to the point that blood flow to the wound is stopped.
Why Do You Need One?
From car accidents to being attacked by a predator to a mishap in the kitchen, there are many ways in which to sustain an injury that can result in severe blood loss.
With an injury like this, a person can bleed out in as little as sixty seconds. Tourniquets are simple devices, but they are extremely effective at stopping blood loss and increasing an individual’s chance of survival.
Can Anything be Used as a Tourniquet?
Yes and no. Many things can be used as a tourniquet but ideally, they should be avoided. The band of a tourniquet needs to be at least two inches wide. Anything less than that will not be as effective and will increase the risk of causing further tissue damage.
This is the problem with many first aid kits that do come with a tourniquet; they are simply the wrong size, and their use should be avoided.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on an advanced kit just to get a tourniquet. They are sold separately and can be found at places like Rescueessentials.com where they sell a great product called the Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT)
The steps involved in using a tourniquet are short and not all that difficult, but it is extremely important to do them correctly. Not only is it important to have a tourniquet for every member in your group but you must also seek out the knowledge and training in their operation so that you can use it effectively when the time comes. Thanks for reading and keep your first aid kit well-stocked.
If you have any thoughts or questions about tourniquets be sure to leave a comment below.