Tourniquet facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Tourniquet (PSF)
A traditional tourniquet system: the tourniquet itself and a wooden stick.

A tourniquet is a constricting or compressing device, specifically a bandage, used to control venous and arterial circulation to an extremity for a period of time. Pressure is applied circumferentially upon the skin and underlying tissues of a limb; this pressure is transferred to the walls of vessels, causing them to become temporarily occluded (blocked). It is generally used as a tool for a medical professional to stop traumatic bleeding, especially by military medics. The tourniquet is usually applied when the patient is in a life-threatening state as a result of continuous bleeding.

A primitive tourniquet can be made from a stick and a rope (or leather belt). The rope is made into a loop that fits over the damaged limb and the stick is inserted through the loop. The loop is tightened by twisting the stick. This primitive device stems the flow of blood but side-effects such as tissue damage and nerve damage may occur. In modern medicine, pre-assembled devices have been developed. They avoid side-effects of the traditional rope-and-stick tourniquets and can be faster or easier to apply. Some modern tourniquets, such as the Combat Application Tourniquet or the SOF Tourniquet can be applied with one hand by the injured person themself. However, it does require some practice to ensure it is applied correctly and quickly.


Tourniquet Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.