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Use of Space Blanket‒Improvised Tourniquets

Massive haemorrhage is your first point of attention after assessing scene safety. A tourniquet can be used to control severe extremity haemorrhage. Since a conventional tourniquet is not always at hand, Salchner et al assessed the effectiveness of a space blanket‒improvised tourniquet with a carabiner as a rod.

They concluded that in research setting (healthy volunteers in optimal application circumstances) complete arterial occlusion was achieved in only half of the applications using the improvised tourniquet, while 100% occlusion was achieved every time when the conventional tourniquet was used. Furthermore, the speed of application was inferior in the application of improvised tourniquets (94 seconds vs 27 seconds, P<0.001). The authors advice that improvised tourniquets should be considered only in dire circumstances with uncontrolled extremity hemorrhage and when no commercial tourniquets are available.

Read the article here.

Salchner H, Isser M, Banyai L, Schachner T, Wiedermann FJ, Lederer W. Arterial Occlusion Effectiveness of Space Blanket‒Improvised Tourniquets for the Remote Setting. Wilderness Environ Med. 2023 Apr 24:S1080-6032(23)00043-1. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2023.02.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37100664.