You stop at a fast food restaurant for a quick lunch before returning to work. It’s a sunny day but very windy. The weather service has a high wind advisory posted for the area.
While sitting eating your sandwich you hear a loud crash. You turn and see a young man staggering through the broken glass door. The wind caught the door as he opened it and propelled him through the glass.
You run over to help him and you see his arm has a deep laceration to his arm. It is bleeding profusely and the blood is spurting from his arm. You lay the victim down and apply direct pressure with your hand and clean handkerchief over the wound. The blood continues to pour from the wound. He is loosing massive amounts of blood.
You give your keys to a bystander and ask her to retrieve your first aid kit from the trunk of your car. She returns quickly and you ask her to obtain the tourniquet from the side pocket of your kit.
Now you ask another bystander to take over applying pressure while you apply the tourniquet. You loop the tourniquet around the victims arm above the large laceration. You tighten the loop and begin tightening the device. (Tourniquets are very painful so inform the victim of the expected pain) The bleeding has stopped.
911 has been notified and is in route. You now assess the victim for shock from blood loss. The signs you are looking for are:
Cool, clammy skin and pale skin
Rapid pulse and breathing
In severe cases unconsciousness.
From you evaluation you determine he is in mild to moderate shock. You elevate the legs to move more blood to the core of the body and help stabilize him. EMS arrives and transport the individual to the hospital.
In this case the victim had a full recovery. But how would the outcome have been different if no one was trained to control the bleeding? What if there was no tourniquet at the scene?
People in high risk jobs should carry a tourniquet with them. Police officers, farmers and those working in industrial complexes should have a tourniquet and know how to use it.
When a person is bleeding profusely it only takes a matter of seconds to lose most of their blood volume. Quick action such as applying a tourniquet to one self, can mean the difference between life and death.
If not already trained please consider doing so. You never know when it may just save a life.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.