We've had a new delivery of tourniquets in the office for you to try in our courses.
If you have ever done refresher first aid courses you will remember that things change and some things come in and out of the courses.
When I started first aid - 26 years ago tourniquets were very much part of the training. Then they disappeared. It was thought that these could be dangerous in the hands of us first aiders. There are various health issues that can arise when using a tourniquet but due to the large amount of research done in the forces the benefits outweigh the risks.
The issues generally came up when a tourniquet was left on for too long - damage to the muscle, nerves, blood vessels and skin can occur after 2 hours. However as first aiders we are there to provide emergency care and get the Emergency Medical Services to the casualty asap so the need for the tourniquet to be there for extended periods shouldn't be an issue. The benefits of being able to stop catastrophic bleeding is pretty apparent and by applying one you certainly give the casualty a much better chance of surviving until the paramedics get there.
They are a great bit of kit to have in the first aid box if you are working in a dangerous environment or you venture into the outdoors. I have a couple in my kit when I ski, camp, dive etc.
You do need to be training on using tourniquets. If you don't know what you are doing they will probably be ineffective and could be dangerous.
Have a look at this training video and see what you think....