Minor morbidity with emergency tourniquet use to stop bleeding in severe limb trauma: research, history, and reconciling advocates and abolitionists

Mil Med. 2011 Jul;176(7):817-23. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-10-00417.


Background: In prior reports of active data collection, we demonstrated that early use of emergency tourniquets is associated with improved survival and only minor morbidity. To check these new and important results, we continued critical evaluation of tourniquet use for 6 more months in the current study to see if results were consistent.

Methods: We continued a prospective survey of casualties and their records at a combat support hospital in Baghdad who had tourniquets used at a combat hospital in Baghdad (NCT00517166 at ClinicalTrials.gov).

Results: After comparable methods were verified for both the first and current studies, we report the results of 499 patients who had 862 tourniquets applied on 651 limbs. The clinical results were consistent. No limbs were lost from tourniquet use.

Conclusion: We found that morbidity was minor in light of major survival benefits consistent with prior reports.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Treatment*
  • Extremities / injuries*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Medicine
  • Polyneuropathies / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tourniquets* / adverse effects
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00517166