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The Tourniquet

Category: Xii Accidents

To stop the bleeding press the artery _above_ the wound firmly with your
fingers while some one prepares a tourniquet. Use a handkerchief, a
necktie, or anything of the kind for a tourniquet; tie it loosely around
the limb and in the bandage place a smooth stone (or something that will
take its place), adjusting it just above your fingers on the artery.
Then slip a strong, slender stick about ten inches long under the
bandage at the outer side of the arm or leg and turn the stick around
like the hand of a clock, until the stone presses the artery just as
your fingers did. Tie the stick above and below the bandage to keep it
from untwisting.

_Do not forget_ that the tourniquet is cutting off circulation, and for
this to continue very long is dangerous. It is not safe to keep it on
more than one hour without loosening. If the hand or foot grows cold and
numb before that time loosen the tourniquet and rub briskly to restore
circulation. Should the wound begin to bleed again when the tourniquet
is loosened, be ready to tighten at once.

In case of an accident of this kind summon a physician, if one can be
reached quickly. If not, take the patient to the nearest doctor, for the
artery must be tied as soon as possible and only a physician or skilful
trained nurse can do that part of the work.

Next: Emergency Stretchers

Previous: When an Artery is Cut

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