Did you know a tourniquet could save your life in an earthquake?
When most people hear the word tourniquet the first thing that comes to mind is bleeding, but what about crush injuries? While many people are still uneducated about the efficacy and safety of tourniquets, even less know about their viability in the treatment of crushed limbs. Crushed Limb Syndrome is a life-threatening condition where toxins produced by the body are trapped by the crushing object. Removing the object could allow toxins into to travel from the inured limb into the body, which may overwhelm the kidneys, or allow fluid to leak into the area causing the injured person to go into shock.
The following is a complete list of safety tips you should consider adding to your earthquake readiness plan:
EARTHQUAKE SAFETY TIPS:
Have an earthquake readiness plan.
Make sure your home is built on a sturdy foundation, that items on shelves and throughout your home are reinforced and secured to minimize damage.
Identify safe places in your home where you can take cover so that nothing falls on you or your family.
Keep a supply of non-perishable food and water.
Be able to quickly turn off gas, water, or electricity so you can prevent further damage and injury.
Have a first aid kit readily accessible, and make sure you have multiple tourniquets.
When an earthquake BEGINS:
Move and take cover quickly.
Until shaking stops, stay indoors, then exit your home when it’s safe.
Stay away from things that could fall on you.
Stay away from windows.
Expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake in commercial buildings.
Outdoors, find a clear area, where things won’t fall on you, and get low.
In a car, slow down, drive to a clear area where tings won’t fall onto the car, and stay inside the car until shaking stops.
Situation dictates your actions, so be adaptable.
If a limb is crushed:
Less than 15 minutes
Free the limb as quickly as possible.
Control any bleeding with a tourniquet or other means as needed.