When Should You Use a Tourniquet?

Tourniquets are designed to be used when there is risk of loss of life due to bleeding and blood loss. Tourniquets are for life-threatening extremity bleeding only.  When a major artery is damaged in the arm, hand, or leg, the amount of blood loss is much faster than other wounds.  Many wounds can have pressure applied to them to slow down and stop the bleeding.  When applied pressure does not work, a tourniquet must be used to preserve life. First Aid license online courses can demonstrate the proper technique for tying a tourniquet.  

Online 1st aid course programs are resourceful ways for busy individuals to learn about First Aid, bleeding control, wounds, and how to use a tourniquet.  Tourniquets should be about 4-inches wide and can be made out of many different things. In the event of a true medical emergency, many individuals will make a tourniquet out of whatever they have access to in a hurry. First Aid responders often have prepacked tourniquet kits purchased online or through their local fire departments and have them at all times as a registered first responder.  

Tourniquets must be used within two minutes of excessive bleeding to help prevent loss of life. You can even apply a tourniquet to yourself if necessary. It is recommended that tourniquets be tied using a square knot, similar to tying your shoes, about two inches above the wound.  Never tie a tourniquet directly on a joint. A tourniquet, once tied, should not be removed except by doctors in an emergency room so that bleeding is kept to a minimum.  

Tourniquets can stay in place for up to two hours before damage to the muscle tissue begins. Even if it is necessary to wear a tourniquet longer than two hours, it is better to have a loss of limb than of loss of life. Not everyone who requires a tourniquet experiences permanent muscle damage. It truly depends on the wound, the severity of it, how soon a tourniquet was tied, and how long the tourniquet remained in place. The most important thing to remember when using a tourniquet is that you are using it to save a life.  

Taking First Aid certification courses online can help you learn more about using a tourniquet. The best online First Aid course is the one that is most convenient for you to take and complete. Knowledge is power and knowledge of First Aid skills saves lives.

Save a life today by enrolling in a First Aid certification online course!

Back to blog