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Occupational Health Services Health Surveillance First Aid Training Sickness Absence Management
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So many people have been asking questions about how the changes to the European Resuscitation Council guideline on treating bleeding will affect their business...... read more
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So many people have been asking questions about how the changes to the European Resuscitation Council guideline on treating bleeding will affect their business. We answer your common questions about tourniquet use, that might help your organisation.
Do I now need to add tourniquets or special dressings to my first aid kit?
It is a legal requirement that employees carry out a first aid needs assessments about the possible risks, accidents and injuries that may occur in their workplace. It is then a requirement that employers make first aid equipment available to deal with those situations, and ensure staff are appropriately trained to deal with those situations should they occur.
Not all work places will have the potential risk for severe life threatening bleeding, but if you work in a “high risk” setting such as construction, with heavy tools, print, or dangerous cutting machinery etc then it would be appropriate to have a manufacturers tourniquet and or haemostatic dressings.
Of course, a small office workplace is unlikely to find that catastrophic bleeding is a significant risk to their employees, so they wouldn’t necessarily have to rush out and buy this new equipment
How can I train my staff in this skill?
Rochdale Occupational Health Service are pleased to confirm our trainers have completed a course in the management of catastrophic bleeding, this includes the use of both manufactured and improvised tourniquets as well as application of haemostatic dressings.
All our First Aid & Work Courses (General, Refresher & Emergency) now include as standard, catastrophic bleeding and the use of Tourniquets & Haemostatic Dressings as part of the syllabus.
Why are tourniquets being brought back, won’t casualties lose their limbs?
Studies have been carried out and using this as evidence based practice, it has changed the way we are dealing with severe catastrophic bleeding. Over 150,000 articles from 39 countries were examined and the reviews decided what best practice should be, and the guidelines were created from this evidence.
It has been proven that after 3-4 minutes a person may bleed to death from severe catastrophic bleeding. Elevating a severe pulsating bleed, (for example from a femoral injury) won’t stop bleeding, so in simply applying pressure and elevating the injury the patient could bleed to death before the paramedics even get there!
Studies have shown that during the Boston Bombing attack of 2013 civilians managed to save 3 lives by using improvised tourniquets. and more recently in the Paris bombs of 2015 the increased demand of the number of casualties with pulsating life threatening injuries were so high, the medical team were forced to apply improvised tourniquets to simply save lives.
When applying a tourniquet correctly we always attempt to minimise muscle damage. Studies by Lakstein et al 2003 have proven that there is no exact safe time for the application of a tourniquet before the ischemic (lack of oxygen) time is so great it necessitates limb amputation but it is thought to be far higher than first thought. To minimise this risk, once the tourniquet is applied it must never be removed, under any circumstances by anyone other than a qualified Doctor! We must always ensure the time of the tourniquet application is written on the tourniquet in an easily visible place, and arrange for assessment by the emergency services immediately.