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U.S. police try to duplicate battlefield success in Afghanistan, Iraq with tourn

daftandbarmy

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What's our policy these days on training troops in the use of tourniquets, and do we issue them?


HOUSTON — Rushing into a Houston home, police officer Austin Huckabee encountered a drunken, combative man bleeding profusely on the kitchen floor. The blood was spurting in rhythm with the man’s heart, and cardiac arrest was just moments away.

Pulling a tourniquet from his belt, the former Army captain and his partner restrained the man, wrapped the band around his arm and twisted an attached rod to tighten it until the bleeding stopped. Then Huckabee waited for paramedics, knowing a life had been saved.

The tourniquet, one of the world’s oldest and most easily used medical tools, is making a comeback on American streets after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan showed how a simple, 20-second procedure could save lives.

Now law-enforcement agencies nationwide are equipping officers with the blood-staunching bands in an effort to duplicate that battlefield success.

“The only silver lining that comes from any war is improvements in medical care and specifically in trauma care,” said John Holcomb, director of the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute, who is leading the push to give tourniquet kits to Houston police.

Tourniquets fell out of favour during the Civil War, when prolonged use often led to amputation, particularly for wounded men who lay on the battlefield for days. Those fears lingered, and tourniquets were rarely used, even in Vietnam.

Today, battlefields are often cleared in less than an hour, Holcomb said, and doctors know how little time they have to save both life and limb.

Instead of a cloth and metal, modern tourniquets feature Velcro and a plastic rod known as a windlass. But the basic operating principle has not changed: The device compresses damaged limbs to the point that blood vessels are squeezed shut and bleeding stops.

In Houston, all 5,000 officers are expected to be carrying the kits by September. Dallas officers got the same equipment late last year. Boston police received tourniquets shortly after last year’s marathon attack.

One of the most common emergencies encountered by officers is a motorcycle accident like the one that severed Jeremy Brooks’ right leg in May. Brooks barely remembers the crash, but he recalls clearly being told by doctors that the person who put the tourniquet on his severed limb at the scene probably saved his life — and possibly his knee. The knee will make it easier for him to be fitted for a prosthetic.


Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/police+duplicate+battlefield+success+Afghanistan+Iraq+with+tourniquet+revival/9989970/story.html#ixzz36E2a1OEA

 

Haggis

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I recently met some Ottawa Police Service Tactical Unit officers carrying them.
 

IRepoCans

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Some OPP officers that toured my school a month back had tourniquets as well.
 

Hunter

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The service where I work recently added the CAT to our bags. I don't believe it has been used so far, but we have only had them for a couple of weeks and it's trauma season so that may change any time.
 

PuckChaser

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I personally carry some while hunting, as a just-in-case. That being said, I was told on my TCCC/Cmbt FA courses that unless you're a paramedic/doctor, you cannot put a TQ on another person, only on yourself.
 

Towards_the_gap

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That has changed, 'in extremis', they can be used, but you'd better be able to show why it was a last resort option.
 

Dissident

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Local muni good friend of mine used his department issued TQ to save someone life and got a commendation for it. This was ~4 years ago.
 

Hunter

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PuckChaser said:
I personally carry some while hunting, as a just-in-case. That being said, I was told on my TCCC/Cmbt FA courses that unless you're a paramedic/doctor, you cannot put a TQ on another person, only on yourself.

If that has ever been the case, it's news to me.
 

PuckChaser

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Towards_the_gap said:
That has changed, 'in extremis', they can be used, but you'd better be able to show why it was a last resort option.

Good to know, thanks. Recent change? Was told it was still not an option civilian-side for others on my TCCC in 2012.
 

Hunter

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Funny how that works.  I just got an email from a colleague who used one on a scene call a couple of nights ago.  That is the first application of any kind of tourniquet that I have heard of among my colleagues.  I wonder if this is going to be like the T-Pod.  Prior to bringing the T-Pod pelvic binder into service it seemed relatively rare that we had to stabilize pelvic fractures.  Now we seem to be encountering cases where we do it pretty regularly. Maybe not weekly but a couple of times per month anyhow.

PuckChaser said:
Was told it was still not an option civilian-side for others on my TCCC in 2012.

If that is the case I believe the instructor was mistaken.  A tourniquet is an adjunct, whether it is an improvised tourniquet, a CAT, or other.  Doctrine on when why and how they should be used has evolved over the years but I have never seen anything that would say that any individual or group of trained individuals has not been allowed to apply a tourniquet.  There have been times where it was not included in SJA or CRC FA training, but that does not equate to civilians not being allowed to consider tourniquet application.
 
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