Stop The Bleed

2018 Tourniquet Buyers Guide

January 23, 2018 0 Comments

Stop The Bleed

2018 Tourniquet Buyers Guide

What Type Of Tourniquet Is Right For Me?

 

Tourniquets are simple, effective medical devices that have been used for centuries to control bleeding. They are effective, low-cost life-support tools that can save your life or the life of your friends and family. Currently, there are several tourniquet style options available on the market. In order to determine which tourniquet you want to buy you should consider all of the factors of the device and where you will use and or carry your tourniquet. When purchasing a tourniquet remember cheaper is not better, and that the military always buys from the lowest bidder so just because the military uses this or that tourniquet does not mean it’s better, it just means they were able to buy them at the lowest price.

Tourniquet Buyers Guide

Width & Predicted Limb Occlusion Pressure (LOP): LOP takes two primary factors into consideration; the circumference of your limb, and the width of the tourniquet. This is then multiplied by 16.67 + 67.

 

LOP = (Limb Circumference / TQ Width) * 16.67 + 67

 

The Safe Range of Compression is 300 – 500 mmHg

 

Most Common Windlass Bar Tourniquets have a functional width of 1”. They are advertised to have 1.5” width, but that portion is just a sleeve for the internal 1” webbing that is the functional part. Therefore, those tourniquets have a higher occlusion pressure. For example,

 

Average Male Arm circumference: 14.5”

Common Windlass Bar TQ width: 1”

 

(14.5/1)*16.67+67= 309 mmHg to reach occlusion on the average male arm

 

Average Male Leg circumference: 24.5”

Common Windlass Bar TQ width: 1”

 

(24.5/1)*16.67+67= 475 mmHg to reach occlusion on the average male leg

 

Average Male Arm circumference: 14.5”

OMNA Amphibious TQ width: 2”

 

(14.5/1)*16.67+67= 188 mmHg to reach occlusion on the average male arm

 

Average Male Leg circumference: 24.5”

OMNA Amphibious TQ width: 2”

 

(24.5/1)*16.67+67= 271 mmHg to reach occlusion on the average male leg

As you can see the common windlass bar tourniquet requires more pressure to reach occlusion. Therefore, as a buyer remember wider is better to a point. There are more factors to consider in addition to width that must be accounted for, and then averaged out to determine what you want to buy.

 

Length: Tourniquet length also matters in the equation. A good overall length of 3-feet or 1-meter is a good for a tourniquet. This length will work on most people of various sizes. The military standard length for tourniquets is currently 37.5” or more. If you have smaller limbs or are a smaller than average person you may want to consider purchasing a smaller size and or smaller length tourniquet that is made to form a smaller circumference.

 

            Materials: Materials such as nylon webbing are commonly used in tourniquets because they are strong, lightweight, and rugged. If you intend to carry your tourniquet in tough conditions and environments a nylon-webbing tourniquet will likely serve you better than an elastic material tourniquet.

 

            Sizes: Most Tourniquets come in a one size fits most configurations. However, some tourniquets do come in variable sizes and widths. If you are a smaller person, and or have smaller limbs, consider looking at tourniquets that offer more than one size.

 

Types: There are four primary tourniquet types on the market today.

 

  1. Windlass
  2. Elastic Band
  3. Pneumatic
  4. Ratcheting

 

One-Hand Application: If you need a tourniquet you may only have one hand to use, therefore, you need a tourniquet that is designed for one-handed application. Elastic tourniquets are not 1-hand application. Many tourniquets also don’t have a bite-strap that aids self-application with your only free arm / hand. If a tourniquet cannot be used with only one hand, you are setting yourself up for possible failure, and the loss of additional blood. Your blood supply is limited so buy a tourniquet that minimizes blood loss.

Surf TourniquetMountain TourniquetDesert TourniquetCity Tourniquet

Environment: Consider what environment you will use your tourniquet. Will you be at high or low altitude, desert, water, urban, or other. Different tourniquets have different features so you need to identify before buying that your tourniquet is specifically designed for the environment where you will use your tourniquet.

 

Summary: There are several factors to consider when purchasing a tourniquet: Width, Length, Materials, Type, Environment, One-Hand Application, and Size. Reviews can be a great tool, but if you’ve ever been online you know that reviews can be misleading. It is entirely possible that sellers have put up positive reviews to bury bad reviews. So always consider the source of the information. Fake News, Fake Reviews; are same-same, but different. Now that you have a general idea of what you are looking for in a tourniquet, go do some research and see what works for you.