Tourniquets: One may not be enough
Updated: Aug 15
Tourniquet is a critical tool when it comes to stopping life-threatening bleeding from extremities. No one is immune to injuries when you all look tough and ready for action. That’s where the tourniquet comes in. It’s like an insurance policy you hope you never have to use, but when you do, you’re glad you have it.
How many tourniquets should a soldier carry? The answer is: at least two.
There are two major reasons why you should consider using two tourniquets.
Keep one for you and another one for the comrade.
Let's paint a picture: you come across a buddy with a bleeding limb. You might instinctively want to use your tourniquet on them. Good impulse, but not the best strategy. Here's a better approach: use THEIR tourniquet on them. Remember, it’s not about sharing. In the battlefield, you’re likely to encounter multiple injured comrades. By using their tourniquet, you ensure you still have yours at the ready. Keep one for yourself, always.
One tourniquet isn't enough.
Sometimes, you'll apply a tourniquet and realize the bleeding hasn’t stopped.
If one doesn’t stop the bleed, you apply another one right above the first. Don't make the mistake of loosening or reapplying the first one. We want to keep that pressure consistent and just add more if necessary. It's like if you’re trying to stop water pouring out of a hose. Pinching it once might slow it, but pinching it a second time right above can really clamp it down.
Please note that a second tourniquet should always be applied before releasing the original tourniquet due to the concern of re-bleeding and maintaining a good quality of life.
So, All in all: Two tourniquets at least for you on battlefield. Use theirs before yours. And if one isn’t cutting it, apply another above. These little pieces of gear are worth their weight in gold. Stay safe out, and always be ready.