Tourniquets for hemorrhage control on the battlefield: a 4-year accumulated experience

J Trauma. 2003 May;54(5 Suppl):S221-5. doi: 10.1097/01.TA.0000047227.33395.49.


Background: Tourniquet application is a known means for bleeding prevention in the military prehospital setting.

Methods: This study was a 4-year retrospective analysis of silicone and improvised tourniquet applications by Israeli Defense Force soldiers.

Results: Of 550 soldiers who were treated in the prehospital setting, tourniquets were applied to 91 (16%) patients and in less than 15 minutes in 88% of the cases with almost no complications. Penetrating trauma was the main mechanism of injury. The indication was situational and nonmedical in 58 (53%) of the cases. The patients' ischemic time was 83 +/- 52 minutes (range, 1-305 minutes). A total of 78% of applications were effective, with higher success rates for medical staff compared with fellow soldiers and for upper limbs (94%) compared with lower limbs (71%, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Tourniquet application is an effective and easily applied (by medical and nonmedical personnel) method for prevention of exsanguination in the military prehospital setting.

MeSH terms

  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Military Personnel*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Silicones / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Tourniquets / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Warfare*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*


  • Silicones