Learn to use a tourniquet, and carry one with you, just in case.
Former Senator and full-time Republican fool Rick Santorum was deservedly smothered under a heap of scorn in March 2018 after suggesting that students should learn cardio-pulminary resuscitation (CPR) in case they found themselves and their friends under attack in a school shooting.
Several doctors slammed Santorum for obvious idiocy, but Jo Buyske, executive director of the American Board of Surgery, summed it up best in a tweet that said, “Mr. Santorum, CPR doesn’t work if all the blood is on the ground.”
Santorum’s underlying impulse wasn’t wrong. Knowing what to do in a borked situation can help you get through it. He just reached for the wrong solution.
The best way to stop all the blood from pooling on the ground is to apply a tourniquet. It’s a temporary solution that stops a victim from bleeding out before medical help can arrive.
Granted, a tourniquet can be as useless as CPR when a victim has been shot multiple times by an assailant wielding an AR-15. But someone who’s been wounded in an arm or a leg could live to tell the tale if someone ties on a tourniquet in time.
Applying a tourniquet is a skill that needs to be learned. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can make things worse.
First, you need to purchase a tourniquet. The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) is well-regarded, as is the SOF Tactical Tourniquet-Wide (SOFTT-W). Both are available through Rescue Essentials.
Then you need to learn how to apply a tourniquet. Here’s a page from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) website, written by Dr. David R. King, who tended to victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing:
You can also review the instructions offered by Stop the Bleeding, a government-sponsored awareness campaign launched in 2015 to encourage everyday people to teach themselves how to handle a bleeding emergency before medical help arrives:
If you have a bit more to spend, you might consider a Concealed Carry Trauma Kit, which contains a tourniquet as well as a pair of gloves and a hemostatic agent–a substance that stops bleeding. The kit is designed to fit in a back pocket (hence the reference to ‘concealed carry’).
Read about Rick Santorum making a damn fool of himself and getting flayed by doctors who know better:
Also, read an October 2017 WBUR interview with a volunteer from Stop the Bleeding on the power of the tourniquet:
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