How to effectively apply a tourniquet

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New guidance on how to effectively apply a tourniquet in an emergency situation published by healthcare association.

[May, 2022. London, UK] The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has released new free guidance around controlling a bleed in an emergency situation, including how and when to apply a tourniquet.

The “Get Wise to using a tourniquet: A guide to Haemorrhage Control Pathway” document provides first aiders with simple step-by-step instructions to enable them to quickly administer the right treatment in the event of a catastrophic haemorrhage.

In particular, the leaflet provides a quick and easy overview of which technique and dressing can be used on which body part, including where it is appropriate to use a tourniquet.

Catastrophic haemorrhage is the term used to describe a severe bleeding injury, which can result in a fatal loss of blood in just a few minutes. In these cases, survival is often reliant on the ability to provide fast and effective treatment before emergency services.

Written by industry experts from the BHTA’s First Aid Medical Equipment (FAME) Section, the guidance was created following concerns regarding a lack of understanding among first aiders regarding the appropriate action to take in such situations.

Tom Pear, First Aid Medical Equipment Section Chair of the British Healthcare Trades Association, commented: “In emergency situations where every second counts, it is essential that first aiders are able to confidently and correctly use first aid equipment. This is an important guidance document that gives people a clear and succinct pathway to help inform their decision making and actions.

“Despite the unlikely event of catastrophic haemorrhaging occurring in day-to-day life, tourniquets and haemostatic dressings should be an integral part of every first aid kit. All first aiders should be trained in their use.”

The document is aimed at those working in high-risk environments, including industrial and construction sectors, and those working in large venues, such as stadiums, airports and even large office buildings, where there is a possibility of catastrophic haemorrhages occurring.

The “Get Wise to using a tourniquet” leaflet is available to download for free at


Author: BHTA
Published: 25 May 2022

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