A tourniquet can help control life-threatening hemorrhage following trauma. However, improper use can result in unnecessary complications. A tourniquet should only be applied when the benefit outweighs the possible risks.


Indications for application of a tourniquet due to bleeding:

(1) uncontrollable bleeding from a site amenable to proximal placement of a tourniquet

(2) limb amputation

(3) exsanguinating wound associated with shock

(4) life-threatening hemorrhage inadequately controlled by direct pressure or other hemostatic methods


When there are no other alternative to control massive bleeding:

(1) due scene safety issues

(2) during emergency transport

(3) due to inadequate resources


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