SAFETY MEETING – Trauma Wound Care with a Tourniquet
This morning’s safety meeting was led by Baptist Hospital’s Trauma Program Manager, Kevin Hunt, RN. We discussed trauma wound care, specifically how to care for a wound that needs a tourniquet. Kevin demonstrated how to apply the CAT tourniquets on yourself and on others, leaving us more equipped for an emergency situation. (here’s the link to what we ordered for our shop and field trucks)
Here’s a bit of a take away from the safety meeting:
Don’t wait to use the tourniquet as a “last resort”. Whip that life-saving device out as soon as you can reach it. The faster you can set the tourniquet before shock sets in, the greater the chances are of preserving life and limb. If there is suspicion of extremity bleeding, USE THE TOURNIQUET!
The risk of hemorrhage greatly outweighs the minuscule risk of limb damage.
Kevin knew that in our line of work, accidents can involve hazardous liquids or agents. He recommended cleaning our trauma subject off as much as possible before transporting to the ER. Hazardous chemicals in the ER can potentially shut the ER down for containment, resulting in loss of time and productivity.
Remaining aware of our surroundings at all times is important to avert risks. If we are proactively assessing situations and proximities, we can minimize the need for trauma care. The faster the ER can attend their patients because of the steps taken before arriving, the faster they can stabilize patients.
Tourniquets have the ability to save lives and limbs. In our line of work, we feel they are incredibly important to have. We have added one to all of our field trucks as well as our shop and office first aid kits. We hope to never use them, but should the situation arise, we are prepared.