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0061-23 STB - Staging a Tourniquet_Thumb

Stop the Bleed Month: How To Stage a Tourniquet

Author Caleb Savant
4 months ago
Caleb is again joined by Chris Hoyne from North American Rescue, a supplier of emergency medical kits and supplies. The guys continue our series for National Stop the Bleed Month, which is May (in case you're watching this in the future) by discussing how to "stage" a tourniquet. A tourniquet is used to stop severe bleeding from an arm or a leg, so it must be applied FAST, the faster the better to stop the wounded person from bleeding out. Staging the tourniquet is getting it ready so it can be deployed with minimal delay. That means removing any packaging it came in from the manufacturer. This is OK because a tourniquet does not have to be kept sterile, like a dressing or gauze. If one of your arms is injured, you may not have the dexterity to tear open tough, slippery shrink wrap! Even if the injury is to your leg, you have to apply pressure to the wound with one hand to stanch the bleeding until you get the tourniquet on.
A Gen 7 military-type tourniquet such as NAR's Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT), has a windlass you turn to fully tighten the tourniquet. This windlass is retained by a hook-and-look strap. Chris recommends you OPEN the strap, so there's one less thing you have to fumble with when deploying the tourniquet in an emergency.
Chris is a retired firefighter-paramedic who also served as a medic on a SWAT team, so he has extensive experience with tourniquets and treating severe bleeding. If you would like to learn how to properly provide first aid to stop bleeding, we recommend taking a training course offered by Stop the Bleed. To find an STB course near you, go to