Tourniquets in Every School? Many Now Say Yes

Obama and health care professionals say the simple devices could save many
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2015 1:40 PM CST
Tourniquets in Every School? Many Now Say Yes
In this June 3, 2015, photo, students check out tourniquets as Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.   (Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)

The US military knows firsthand the effectiveness of a relatively simple tool in saving lives—the tourniquet. Consider the eye-opening stat in one military study that 90% of those who died from a potentially survivable wound did so specifically from "uncontrolled blood loss," notes the Atlantic. Its use of tourniquets has worked so well in dealing with trauma victims that law enforcement around the country have begun to follow suit. And because so-called field tourniquets fashioned out of, say, one's own shirt are notoriously inferior, the Department of Homeland Security last month launched the Stop the Bleed campaign in an attempt to get tourniquets into as many schools, stadiums, airports, and other public places as possible.

The "drum-beat of large-scale violence, including school shootings and terror attacks" further demonstrate the utility of a simple device that can save lives, reports the Wall Street Journal. In the past 20 months, Dallas police saved 15 people thanks to tourniquets; in 2013, a police officer was saved in San Diego after a chase; and last month, a policeman in Wisconsin used a tourniquet to save a teen after an ice-skating accident. The Mayo Clinic already offers tourniquet education to farmers at Minnesota's annual Farmfest agricultural show, while more than 3,000 teachers in one Wisconsin community have been trained to apply them. "Someone needs to ask the question: 'With all of the shootings going on, why doesn’t every school in the country have hemorrhage-control devices?'" says a former Army surgeon. (Tourniquets have undergone a radical change in thinking.)

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