DefendAmerica reports on the new one-hand operation tourniquet:
The Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet is the Army’s newest medical device designed to help save lives and is being issued to all soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Designed for one-handed application, the tourniquet allows a soldier to apply the tourniquet to himself if needed and replaces the Army’s field-expedient method, where a soldier would use a bandage and a stick to stop blood flow from a wound…
Working on the same principals as all tourniquets, “(The Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet) is used to stop the bleeding from an extremity and to prevent shock,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Brennan, post-deployment health assessment team noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Multinational Corps-Iraq Surgeon Cell.
The tourniquet has two latches used to secure the metal handle. While only one latch is required for the tourniquet to be effective, the extra latch provides extra securing ability depending on the handle’s position after tightening.
To apply the tourniquet, one slides it over the limb and pulls the tail quickly. Once the slack is removed, they twist the handle until bleeding is controlled and then secure the latch. Finally, the screw on the buckle is tightened to prevent accidental loosening.
The Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet is used as a last resort to treat a wound, Brennan said.
“Try to stop the bleeding with a bandage,” Brennan said to a July 4 class of soldiers learning how to use the new tourniquet. “After using a pressure dressing for five minutes, you will know if you need to use a tourniquet. If the bleeding persists, use the tourniquet.”
Once the tourniquet has been applied, a pulse needs to be checked on either the hand or foot where the injury is. “No pulse means the tourniquet is working,” Brennan said.
After the tourniquet is in place, three rules apply: “Never loosen it, never take it off and don’t cover it up,” Brennan said.