How to Use Makeshift Tourniquets in Emergency Situations


SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–While a mass shooting is something we never want to experience, would you know how to prevent someone from bleeding to death before emergency responders arrived? 

It’s not ideal to use makeshift tourniquets, but in the case of an emergency, Registered Nurse Anita Schlenker offers some tips on safe alternative options. 

Naturally, during a mass shooting, there won’t be hundreds of tourniquets readily available so it’s advised to use other methods to stop bleeding.

You can use a bandana, t-shirt, belt, or anything that can fold at least an inch and a half. 

You want to tie it tightly around the arm or leg above the wound.

Never use thin items like shoestrings as that can cause worse damage.

If a person has been shot in an area like the stomach, you want to pack the wound with a sock or headband and apply pressure.

Registered Nurse Anita Schlenker at Mercy Hospital says it’s a good idea for everyone to be properly trained on blood control.

 “I would encourage everyone to get some sort of training just like with hands only CPR to get some sort or training on hemorrhage control, but whatever you can do to help the victims especially when you’re talking mass casualty incidents like with what happened in Las Vegas. I think it’s really important that we all are good Samaritans and give it a best effort with whatever training that we might have,” says Schlenker. 

To find out how you can participate in Mercy Hospital’s “Stop the Bleed” training, click here 

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