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Tourniquets

A range of quick release tourniquets including standard tourniquets in a range of colours and child patterns and tourniquets from the German manufacturer Prameta as well as beautiful multicolour tourniquets.

Tourniquets have been around in there most basic from for millennia as a method of stemming blood flow from a wound but it is with the Romans that the use of tourniquets is first reordered as a method of stemming blood flow during surgery and amputations. At this time the tourniquets was a simple metal band that was lined with leather for some patient comfort. Later tourniquets worked on the principle of tightening a strap of leather by continuingly twisting a stick so the tourniquet became ever tighter above the wound site and stopped blood loss. This rather basic approach can still be put to good use even today in an emergency situations where a simple tourniquet can be fashioned before more advanced is available.

It is thought that the name tourniquet was derived from this stick and strap device that was used for such a long time, the French for turn being ‘tourner’ and hence the word tourniquet was born.

The French have a further part in the development of the medical tourniquet as a French physician called Dr J.L. Petit developed a new screw type tourniquet in the early 1700’s that fastened around the arm and then a screw device was used to lower a metal plate across the relevant blood vessels and constrict them, whilst the device might have some medical benefits it was still a crude and frightening looking instrument.

A modern day medical tourniquet can be used by trained nurses and doctors and professional phlebotomists when either taking bloods or during emergency treatment. The modern tourniquet is made up of a latex free strap that is secured around the patient’s upper arm and the end piece of the strap is then secured in a plastic buckle. The tourniquet can then be tightened to the required amount by pulling the end of the strap to apply circumferential pressure on the skin and underlying tissues, thus causing the blood vessels to become blocked (occluded) and blood flow to be reduced of stemmed.

Most modern tourniquets have a quick release function whereby the buckle can be quickly and easily released after the required samples have been obtained.

A whole variety of quick release tourniquets is available from child pattern versions with friendly animal and clown prints that are designed to help calm younger patients and have slightly shorter tape lengths. The jolly designs and themes are intended to help enable the phlebotomist, paediatric nurse or clinic staff to distract a child from the procedure at hand.

Standard adult tourniquets have a tape length in the region of 40cm and an extra-large option with a longer 46cm tape is available for use with larger patients. The standard adult tourniquets come in more than 30 differing colours and designs and there is even a Dracula pattern available for the more enthusiastic phlebotomist which helps to lighten the situation for more nervous adult patients.

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