Doctors want you to know about this life-saving tool

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – In the unfortunate event of a shooting or injury that leaves a person bleeding, every second counts.

Becuase it take three minutes or less for a person to bleed to death, doctors want the everyday person to know how to use a tourniquet.

Tourniquiets have been used for several centuries, but only in the last decade has the tool become available commercially.

At a training session Wednesday in Hershey, doctors demonstrated how the tourniquet is used.

The first step is to use your hands to apply pressure to the wound. Then, pack the wound with a clean cloth. Finally, place the tourniquet around the wound and tighten it until there’s no longer a pulse below the limb.

If the tourniquet is not tight enough, it won’t be effective. If the injury is at the neck or goin, a tourniquet should not be used.

Also, if there is no available tourniquet kit during an emergency situation, the best practice is to use a clean cloth to stuff the wound and hold pressure until help arrives.

“People having this knowledge and skill can immediately jump to assisting these patients, stop that bleeding and buy time for more help to arrive and hopefully save thier life,” said Dr. Justin D. Chandler, a surgeon at Hershey Medical Center.

Bleeding control programs that feature tourniquet training and are open to the public are offered at hospitals and trauma centers.

Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, a tourniquet training session takes place at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Those interested in participating should call 717-531-LION to RSVP.

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