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  • Writer's pictureSasha

Tourniquets: One may not be enough

While it is true that having one tourniquet on hand can help you to stop the bleeding in an emergency, you should always try to have two tourniquets readily available in case your first one fails or is somehow rendered unusable.

This is especially important because tourniquets are effective pieces of equipment; when used correctly, they can reduce blood loss by up to 40% and potentially save your life.

There are two major reasons why you should consider using two tourniquets.

To stop bleeding when the first tourniquet fails.

When applying a tourniquet, always place it at least two inches above the wound. If the bleeding does not stop, do not remove the tourniquet. Instead, apply a second tourniquet above the first one.

Ensure that you do not remove the first tourniquet until the bleeding has stopped and you are sure that you can maintain pressure with the second tourniquet alone. Also make sure your hands are clean before handling them so as not to contaminate them.

On the battlefield, you also need two tourniquets. One tourniquet for me and one for you.

On the battlefield, comrades need to have 2 tourniquets readily available. There are many instances where one tourniquet will not be enough to control bleeding from an extremity; if this is the case, try to have someone apply pressure on the wound while someone else retrieves more tourniquets.

When a comrade is wounded, you can use the comrade's tourniquet first and then use your tourniquet when he is used up. If unavailable, two or three cloths or bandanas can be applied around the wound and secured with duct tape to create a makeshift tourniquet until professional medical help arrives.

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.

Another good reason a backup tourniquet should be used is when more than one person is trying to help. In this case, it will take two people to apply pressure on the wound at once, which may require using two tourniquets instead of just one.

For example, in the heat of battle, soldiers never know when they might need a tourniquet. This was the case for one soldier who, amid battle, found that one tourniquet wasn't enough to stop the bleeding from a severe wound.

Luckily, he had a second tourniquet and could apply it and save his life. This story shows that you can never be too prepared in an emergency. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and this veteran advises all soldiers to carry two tourniquets at all times so there is no chance of running out during a stressful moment.

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