NEW YORK (AP) — In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, rescuers turned to an age-old medical device to save lives — the tourniquet.
They tied off bleeding limbs using belts, shirts and other materials. Doctors at Boston hospitals said such fast work no doubt saved many lives.
But as recently as a decade ago, emergency responders might have avoided the tourniquet. It was still caught up in a controversy about whether they were more trouble than they were worth.
However, studies from the Iraq war showed they were clear-cut lifesavers and they are now routinely issued to soldiers.
The American Red Cross continues to advise that direct pressure be applied to a wound except in extreme cases.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
- JEMS: Civilian EMS Should Consider Tourniquets (Risk, MD, MPH, FACEP and Augustine, MD, FACEP)
- JEMS: The Return of Tourniquets: Original research evaluates the effectiveness of prehospital tourniquets for civilian penetrating extremity injuries (Kalish, MD and Burke, MD)
- JEMS: Appropriate Prehospital Tourniquet Use (Cain, MD)