Tourniquets and Haemostatic Dressings – Why is this Training Now Required

Tourniquets and Haemostatic Dressings are now included in high risk environments for first aiders.  The latest European Resusciation Council guidelines gave the first aider more options with dealing with catastrophic bleeding that cannot be controlled by direct pressure or pressure dressings. We can now use tourniquets and haemostatic dressings as first aiders. There were also other changes in dealing with serious bleeds like stopping the use of indirect pressure points and no longer elevating a limb that has a bleed.

The use of elevation and indirect pressure not recommended now as they have proved to not be effective in controlling serious bleeds.

Elevation of a limb has been proven to have no real effect in slowing or stopping bleeding, so there is little point in teaching it on first aid courses if it is not effective or if there are better options. That said, we still use the elevation sling for bleeds as this keeps the injury safe and it will reduce blood pressure a little

Indirect pressure does look effective as you are blocking the major artery, but the smaller arteries are not blocked and as these meet up after the pressure point, the bleed will continue.

Removing these has also made training easier as there is less to remember with the treatment of serious bleeds.

In other films we will look at the options available to first aiders with tourniquets and haemostatic dressings which have both been used extensively in the Emergency Medical Services and in the military for many years with excellent results.

As first aiders in the workplace, you could encounter various injuries but outside the workplace, the chance of a first aider or member of the public being involved in a serious incident is also present, for example terrorism, multiple causality accidents and other serious accidents.

We will not on this course look at the standard first aid protacols like scene safety, infection control as we will assume that you do this anyway but it is worth mentioning that you should initially make sure that you know what has happened and what all the persons injuries are so that you them correctly and you do not treat one injury but miss another one.

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