If you have followed our blogs and social media accounts for some time you would know we are kind of obsessed with tourniquets (haemorrhage control in general actually).
We are also very driven to pass on our skills and knowledge in battlefield medicine to Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s). We talk A LOT about Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) for LEO’s but sometimes it’s not high threat incidents when LEO’s are required to apply life-saving first aid. I don’t have the stats but I would have a guess that most LEO’s here in Australia would provide a fair amount of initial first aid not related to shooting ect due to 1) there are 5x more Police on the streets than Paramedics & 2) Police actively patrol whereas Paramedics generally aren’t fluidly deployed and don’t go looking for work.
The video below is a great example of a US Police Dept that is both equipped and trained to use tourniquets in life-threatening haemorrhage. The officers involved were the first responders on scene and were able to successfully control the major haemorrhage due to complete leg amputation.
Unfortunately the video has been edited and we are unable to see the time it took from arrival on scene until haemorrhage control but I would guess that it was well under a minute to apply the tourniquet. A point I would like you to take away from this video is that the LEO’s involved weren’t messing around. You can see them aggressively applying the tourniquet to the casualties leg. Major haemorrhage control should be approached with controlled aggression (emphasis on the controlled bit). Blood on the floor is no good to anyone so controlled aggression in applying a tourniquet, packing a wound or wrapping a dressing is a must. Lets be blunt, you are not cleaning a scraped knee on your 4 year old who fell off his bike. You are trying to stop a life-threatening bleed. Tourniquets hurt even when they are applied correctly. If it doesn’t hurt you probably haven’t applied it tight enough. Like the officers in the above video, don’t be afraid to get in there and get it done with controlled aggression. Jeremy Holder- Tacmed Australia PS. If you are loving our blogs then hit those share buttons and tell your friends! It means a lot to us.