First Aid Responder Level 3 (VTQ)

213 videos, 11 hours and 50 minutes

Course Content

CAT Tourniquets

Video 59 of 213
4 min 57 sec
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We're now going to have a look at the C-A-T tourniquet. Now the C-A-T tourniquet is typically available in an orange or a black. No real reason. The only difference between them, apart from the colour; the orange is a very high visible unit, so if you've got it on somebody it can be seen. In military-type settings, they maybe will want the black one so it can't be directly seen. They're all same mechanism. What we've got is the main loop going around and a Velcro section on the back. So what you can do with it, is open the Velcro up and it very simply pulls tight just by pulling on here, and then we can secure it. 

On the front, there is this white tab, which you just keep out the way there to start with. It just holds it out the way. But what you do is you write the time on that. It's crucial with all tourniquets to write the time it's been applied so that the doctors in the hospital know how long it's actually been on for. So to make it easier you can just fold that back out the way and just clip it on there. And it's now not in the way of when you actually tighten up the tourniquet. This is the main arm, which you're actually using to tighten up the tourniquet. It's very strong and it interlocks and connects into this little section at the top here.

So to actually apply the tourniquet it's quite straightforward. What you do is pop it onto the arm and then just pull around until it's tight, and then apply the Velcro around. Once that's in place, obviously, there's no tension being put on it yet, we need to apply the tension. So to do that, we're literally just twisting this section here around. So hold it in place, just keep turning it until it's tight. Now you do need to apply a lot of pressure on it. Once you've applied the pressure, just lock it in place on this bit here. Peel the white part over, and get a pen and write the time of the application on.

Once you've applied the tourniquet, make sure you've stopped the bleeding. It may be, especially the first time we're using these for real, that you don't put them on tight enough. So you will need to go and make sure that they are really really tight, as tight as you can get them. Otherwise, you're just not going to be stopping the bleed. So look down at the bleed to see if the bright red, pulsing blood has actually stopped. You can always check for the pulse and see whether there's a pulse past that point. If you have got a pulse and you have got pulsing blood coming out, make sure this is tight. And if that is the case and it's still coming through, you may need to apply a second one or a hemostatic dressing. We're going to cover that in a separate video.

The important thing about these and any tourniquet is, once it's been applied you do not remove it. Now the patient is probably going to be in a lot of pain from applying this tourniquet, but also a lot of pain from the injury here. You need to be quite strict, and you need to get that tourniquet on. And most importantly, it's only removed by a doctor in a hospital. So as a first aider we are never removing this.

Now, the tourniquet itself would go onto bare skin or it can go onto clothing. But obviously, make sure that you don't, if you have it on clothing, you're not missing any other injury. Now the C-A-T tourniquet is very good to apply to yourself if you had a problem. So you can apply it onto your own leg or onto your arm. So all you'll do is slide that up your arm, move the clothing out the way. You can then quite easily with this one, pull the Velcro until it's tight. Secure the Velcro around on itself, and now you've got the tourniquet where it needs to be. Once the tourniquet's been put on you can just twist this around, and then you can lock it in place underneath these catches. Now once it's actually locked in place there, peel the tape over the top. And then if you can, just write on there the time it's been applied.

Now finally, it's a good idea to practice with tourniquets. But the important thing is not to actually do it on to somebody because you're going to cause them quite a lot of harm. So in this instance, we've used one of these fake arms. But you could put this around a drain pipe, you could put it around a lump of wood. Anything that's going to grip it, just to practice your technique. But if you practice with a tourniquet, what you need to do is re-set it ready for use. So the piece of tape here just pushes out the way. Now as you've wound it around, there's quite a lot of flex spare here, which you need to remove. So just open up the tourniquet, hold both ends of it, and just give it a little tug, and that will stretch out the material so it's now laying flat. And then you can just apply that. Make it so it goes flat. And then you can pop some bands around it so it's then ready to use for the... If you ever had to use it for real.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit three LO3.1, 3.2, 3.3 & 3.4