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3D-Printed Tourniquets Used at the Battlefront in Ukraine: A Pilot Study

Winter 2023

Melau J, Bergan-Skar P, Callender N, Rognhaug M, Bekkestad E. 23(4). 87 - 91. (Journal Article)


Background: The war in Ukraine urged a need for prompt deliverance and resupply of tourniquets to the front. Producing tourniquets near the battlefront was a feasible option with respect to resupply and cost. Methods: A locally produced 3D-printed tourniquet (Ukrainian model) from the "Tech Against Tanks" charity was tested against commercially available and Committee of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC)-recommended tourniquets (C-A-T™ and SOF™TT-W). We tested how well the tourniquets could hold pressure for up to 2 hours. Results: A Kruskal-Wallis test revealed significant differences between the groups (p<.05). Post-hoc testing revealed a significant difference between the C-A-T and the Ukrainian tourniquet (p=.004). A similar significance was not found between the SOF™TT-W Wide and the Ukrainian model (p=.08). Discussion: The Ukrainian model can hold pressure as well as the commercially available tourniquets. There is much value if this can be produced close to the battlefield. Factors including logistics, cost, and self-sufficiency are important during wartime. Conclusion: We found that our sample of 3D-printed tourniquets, currently used in the war in Ukraine, could maintain pressure as well as the commercially available tourniquets. Indeed, our tests demonstrated that it could maintain a significantly higher pressure.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; armed conflicts; 3D printing; battlefront resupply

PMID: 38133635

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