Re-evaluating Field Tourniquets for the Canadian Forces.

Research Paper Title

Re-evaluating the Field Tourniquet for the Canadian Forces.

Objective

To determine the best field tourniquet for Medical Technician (Med Tech) use in the Canadian Forces (CF).

Methods

The researchers conducted a prospective controlled trial, comparing the efficacy and ease of applicability of 3 types of commercially available windlass tourniquets in 4 tactical situations on simulated patients. The primary outcome was time to tourniquet application with secondary outcomes including effectiveness and Med Tech satisfaction.

Results

The overall finding of this study indicates that the Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T) was applied the fastest in each scenario and was also significantly the most effective in occluding distal blood flow. The survey results show that the 3 tourniquet types are similar in many of the measures of ease of learning and application, with the C-A-T scoring highest in self-application and the Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet Wide having the lowest scores for both durability and effectiveness.

Conclusions

When tested on a group of CF Med Techs, the C-A-T remained the CF field tourniquet of choice, based on the assessed criteria. Although there is inherent bias in the approach of this study, it reflects the process required to determine if a new piece of kit is superior to what is already considered the standard to a trained and equipped military.

Reference

Savage, E., Pannell, D., Payne, E., O’Leary, T. & Tien, H. (2013) Re-evaluating the Field Tourniquet for the Canadian Forces. Military Medicine. 178(6), pp.669-675.

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