The use of a tourniquet for limb surgery or trauma management may be followed by a number of complications. The risk of complications may be increased if certain factors are present.


Risk factors for complications:

(1) high pressure (> 250 mm Hg in upper extremity; > 350 mm Hg in lower extremity)

(2) prolonged application (> 2 hours)

(3) defective pressure gauge causing a higher than expected pressure

(4) hypercoagulability

(5) uneven pressure application due to irregularity in the application surface

(6) use of the wrong cuff for the limb (straight rather than curved on a conical limb, too narrow for size of patient)

(7) prosthetic vascular graft in the limb

(8) chemical burn of the skin after pooling of surgical skin preparation solutions under the cuff


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