the object around until the tourniquet, when tightened, will control the bleeding. If no suitable pressure
object is available, use the tourniquet without it.
To apply an emergency tourniquet made from something like a neckerchief, wrap the material once
around the limb and tie an overhand knot; place a short stick on the overhand knot and tie a square knot
over it. Then twist the stick rapidly to tighten the tourniquet. The stick may be tied in place with another
strip of material. Figure 1-8 shows how to apply a tourniquet.
Figure 1-8.Applying a tourniquet.
To be effective, a tourniquet must be tight enough to stop the blood flowing to the limb. If the
pressure from the tourniquet is less than the arterial pressure, arterial bleeding will continue. Also,
insufficient tourniquet pressure may actually increase the amount of bleeding from the veins. So be sure
to draw the tourniquet tight enough to stop the bleeding. However, do not make it any tighter than
After you have brought the bleeding under control with the tourniquet, apply a sterile compress or
dressing to the wound and fasten it in position with a bandage.
NEVER apply a tourniquet unless the hemorrhage is so severe that it cannot
be controlled in any other way. By the time the tourniquet is required, the victim
will have lost a considerable amount of blood; therefore, once a tourniquet has been
applied, it should be released only by medical personnel.
Here are the points to remember when you use a tourniquet:
Do not use a tourniquet unless you cannot control the bleeding by any other means.
Do not use a tourniquet for bleeding from the head, face, neck, or trunk. Use it only on the limbs.
Always apply a tourniquet above the wound and as close to the wound as possible.