A device for stopping the flow of blood through a vein or artery, typically by compressing a limb with a cord or tight bandage.
Inflatable, primarily used in hospital / surgical settings.
Not Inflatable, primarily used in pre-hospital settings.
PNEUMATIC TOURNIQUETS: Pneumatic tourniquets are routinely used in surgery to create a blood less area for surgical teams to work. Current estimates are that pneumatic tourniquets are used in 15,000 surgeries each day. Technological advances such as automatic computer controlled systems have increased the safety and efficacy of these devices. The probability of tourniquet injury or complications is well documented to be correlated to higher pressures, and higher pressure gradients near the edges of a tourniquet.
NON-PNEUMATIC TOURNIQUETS: Traditional designs of non-pneumatic tourniquets generally consist of narrow strips of material that employ a simple tool that facilitates a mechanical advantage, and allows for the securing of said tool to maintain required occlusion pressure.
In recent years newer non-pneumatic tourniquets also known as emergency, commercial, or pre-hospital tourniquets have evolved. While traditional tourniquets were originally made for soldiers, thus used the lightest and least amount of material possible, newer innovations have maintained those characteristics into a wider, and therefore, safer non-pneumatic tourniquet.
For example, the true functional area of traditional tourniquets are 1" - 1.5" wide (2.54 - 3.81 cm), with some using a 1" (2.54 cm) strip of material within a 1.5" (3.81 cm) material sleeve. Newer tourniquets have increased their widths to 2" or more (5.08 cm or more). This increase in width allows the tourniquet when applied to compress the tissues of the limb to occlude the artery at lower (safer) pressures.
Figure 1: Applied pressures and pressure gradients typically produced by (a) a modern pneumatic surgical tourniquet cuff, (b) a non-pneumatic, non-surgical military tourniquet designed for self-application, and (c) a non-pneumatic elastic ring designed in an attempt to combine exsanguination and tourniquet functions.