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This week's featured articles

4/1/2024

Occlusion Pressures of Tactical Pneumatic Tourniquet 2"

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Wall P, Buising CM, Eernisse D, Rentschler T, Winters C, Renner CH. 24(1). 11 - 17. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The Tactical Pneumatic Tourniquet 2" (TPT2, 5.1cm-wide deflated) allows total average applied pressure measurement, which should be useful toward development of emergency-use limb tourniquet certification devices. Methods: The TPT2 hand bulb was replaced with stopcocks and syringes, allowing filling with continuous pressure measurement. Forearm and mid-thigh applications involved two sets of five Doppler-based pulse gone/return pairs. Second set pulse gones were chosen a priori for occlusion pressures (preliminary work indicated greater consistency in second sets). Results: All 68 forearms occluded (30 female, 38 male, median circumference 17.8cm, range 14.6-23.5cm; median second set of pulse gone tourniquet pressures 176mmHg, range 128-282mmHg). Fifty-five thighs occluded (median circumference 54.3cm, range 41.6-62.4cm; median systolic pressure 126mmHg, range 102-142mmHg; median second set of pulse gone pressures 574mmHg, range 274-1158mmHg). Thirteen thigh applications were stopped without occlusion because of concerning pressures combined with no indication of imminent occlusion and difficulties forcing more air into the TPT2 (3 female, 10 male, peak pressures from 958-1377mmHg, median 1220mmHg, p<.0001 versus occluded thighs; median circumference 63.3cm, range 55.0-72.9cm, p<.0001 versus occluded thighs; median systolic pressure 126mmHg, range 120-173mmHg, p<.019 versus occluded thighs). Thigh TPT2 impression widths on five subjects after occlusion were as follows: 3.5cm, occlusion 274mmHg; 2.8cm, occlusion 348mmHg; 2.9cm, occlusion 500mmHg; 2.8cm, occlusion 782mmHg; 2.7cm, occlusion 1114mmHg. Conclusions: Though probably useful to tourniquet certification, the required pressures for thigh occlusion make the TPT2 undesirable for any clinical use, emergency or otherwise.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; first aid; emergency treatment

PMID: 38300879

DOI: P75U-HM00

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Life Over Limb: Why Not Both? Revisiting Tourniquet Practices Based on Lessons Learned From the War in Ukraine

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Patterson J, Bryan RT, Turconi M, Leiner A, Plackett TP, Rhodes LL, Sciulli L, Donnelly S, Reynolds CW, Leanza J, Fisher AD, Kushnir T, Artemenko V, Ward KR, Holcomb JB, Schmitzberger FF. 24(1). 18 - 25. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The use of tourniquets for life-threatening limb hemorrhage is standard of care in military and civilian medicine. The United States (U.S.) Department of Defense (DoD) Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) guidelines, as part of the Joint Trauma System, support the application of tourniquets within a structured system reliant on highly trained medics and expeditious evacuation. Current practices by entities such as the DoD and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are supported by evidence collected in counter-insurgency operations and other conflicts in which transport times to care rarely went beyond one hour, and casualty rates and tactical situations rarely exceeded capabilities. Tourniquets cause complications when misused or utilized for prolonged durations, and in near-peer or peer-peer conflicts, contested airspace and the impact of high-attrition warfare may increase time to definitive care and limit training resources. We present a series of cases from the war in Ukraine that suggest tourniquet practices are contributing to complications such as limb amputation, overall morbidity and mortality, and increased burden on the medical system. We discuss factors that contribute to this phenomenon and propose interventions for use in current and future similar contexts, with the ultimate goal of reducing morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: tourniquets; amputation; traumatic injury; war-related injuries

PMID: 38300880

DOI: V057-2PCH

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