The New York Times reports on the rising popularity of tourniquets in the face of mass shootings. The tourniquet was popular “as far back as Alexander the Great’s campaigns,” but they fell out of favor from fears that their use would result in amputation.
A limb that is left without blood flow for too long will suffer permanent injury. However, military medical officials in Afghanistan and Iraq used them successfully, which contributed to a more than threefold reduction in fatalities due to severe bleeding compared to the Vietnam War.
Civilian physicians “in the past year” have taken notice.
Patients in the United States are often transferred to definitive care within thirty minutes, which alleviates fears of limb loss. Now some police departments are issuing tourniquets to their officers to treat patients who have been shot.
Even members of the general public are increasingly being trained in their use.