Clothing Effects on Limb Tourniquet Application

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Wall PL, Buising CM, Hingtgen E, Smith H, Renner CH 20(2). 83 - 94 (Journal Article)

Background: Sometimes tourniquets are applied over clothing. This study explored clothing effects on pressures and application process. Methods: Generation 7 Combat Application Tourniquets (C-A-T7), Generation 3 SOF® Tactical Tourniquets-Wide (SOFTTW), Tactical Ratcheting Medical Tourniquets (Tac RMT), and Stretch Wrap And Tuck Tourniquets (SWATT) were used with different clothing conditions (Bare, Scrubs, Uniform, Tights) mid-thigh and on models (ballistic gel and yoga mats). Results: Clothing affected pressure responses to controlled force applications (weight hangs, n=5 thighs and models, nonlinear curve fitting, p < .05). On models, clothing affected secured pressures by altering surface interactions (medians: Gel Bare C-A-T7 247mmHg, SOFTTW 99mmHg, Tac RMT 101mmHg versus Gel Clothing C-A-T7 331mmHg, SOFTTW 170mmHg, Tac RMT 148mmHg; Mats Bare C-A-T7 246mmHg, SOFTTW 121mmHg, Tac RMT 99mmHg versus Mats Clothing C-A-T7 278mmHg, SOFTTW 145mmHg, Tac RMT 138mmHg). On thighs, clothing did not significantly influence secured pressures (n=15 kneeling appliers, n=15 standing appliers) or occlusion and completion pressures (n=15). Eleven of 15 appliers reported securing on clothing as most difficult. Fourteen of 15 reported complete applications on clothing as most difficult. Conclusions: Clothing will not necessarily affect tourniquet pressures. Surface to tourniquet interactions affect the ease of strap sliding, so concern should still exist as to whether applications over clothing are dislodged in a distal direction more easily than applications on skin.

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