Hemorrhage control is the No. 1 thing you can do to save lives on the battlefield, according to Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West.
“Stop the bleeding as soon as you can, and stop it as much as you can,” said West, who serves as surgeon general of the Army and commander of the Army Medical Command. She spoke here on Thursday, Aug. 18, at a meeting of the Defense Writer’s Group.
One of the latest advances in treating hemorrhaging on the battlefield, West said, is what is known as the “junctional tourniquet,” which can be applied to wounds in ways not possible with conventional tourniquets.
Traditionally, a medic or fellow Soldier can apply a tourniquet just to a person’s limb, she explained. A traditional tourniquet cannot be used to stop hemorrhaging in the abdomen, chest, groin, waist, pelvis or armpit.
Developed at Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Dietrich, Maryland, the junctional tourniquet is essentially a belt with one or more inflatable air bladders that can be puffed up, somewhat like a blood pressure cuff, to apply pressure to a wound.
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Image courtesy of US Army
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