- How do you teach Improvised Tourniquets(TQ), if at all? &
2. When is the last time you truly practiced/taught “sticks and rags?”
While recognizing that commercial CoTCCC approved tourniquets ( CAT + SOFT-TW) are superior,and improvised tourniquets have a staggeringly high failure rate (32%~), commercial tourniquets are not unlimited and Murphys Law likes to step into Austere / Tactical medicine. It’s good to know how to perform and teach improvised, while realizing its limitations and high failure rate.
This is especially true when deployed and training our partner forces that don’t have our supplies and funding. You will fail them by training them on only what they wont have, or will have little of when their soldiers can not afford TQs, maybe even gauze.
Soldiers have survived due to improvised tourniquets because some Combat and SOF medics made it happen prior to the commercial ones came out around 2004. Consider teaching them in your TCCC classes or surprising a fellow medic with it during trauma training if its not already implemented. We can’t be spoiled by cool toys all the time if we don’t know how to work without them. With realizing their limitations, we can expect them to fail and be more prepared to re-assess the injury and add a second tourniquet.
Join the facebook discussion and let us know how you teach improvised and other drills, there were some great ideas I think I will add to my class: