Healthy Choices Blog

News and inspiration for healthy living in Northern California

Tourniquets regain favor from lessons learned at 2013 Boston Marathon bombings

Published: Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 - 3:06 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Apr. 18, 2014 - 12:24 am

Researchers are starting to dig deep into mounds of data from emergency medical care in the wake of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings.

One surprising finding was how effective rapidly fashioned tourniquets were in preventing more loss of blood – and lives.

For decades now, the common wisdom has been that tourniquets are out of favor. Incorrectly applied, they can prevent blood flow needed to maintain healthy tissues.

But studies of treatment of war wounds from Iraq, where the majority of injuries occurred from explosions, showed the value of using tourniquets, researchers say.

And, in Boston, as medical personnel and bystanders rushed to tend to the wounded, tourniquets – fashioned out of belts, t-shirts and other common materials – did far more good than harm.

This is the conclusion made by a cornsortium of Boston’s five trauma centers that have been studying the emergency medical response to the bombings and how to improve on-site emergency care.

Read more about it here, in Tinker Ready’s article for HealthLeaders Media. Watch a how-to video on tourniquets here.

Call The Bee’s Cynthia H. Craft, (916) 321-1270.

Read more articles by Cynthia H. Craft

About Healthy Choices

Cynthia CraftCynthia H. Craft began her reporting and editing career in Columbus, Ohio, after graduating from Ohio State University. She worked at a Dallas, Texas, newspaper as an editor, and then at the Los Angeles Times, as an editor and Capitol Bureau correspondent. After working as editor in chief at the California Journal, Craft went to Lima, Peru, for three years as a visiting professor of journalism at Peruana Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas. She was a fellow in 2012 at the National Library for Medicine in Washington, D.C. at the National Institute for Health. She's currently The Sacramento Bee's senior writer on health, a position made possible by a grant from The California Endowment.

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On Twitter: @cynthiahcraft.

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Note: The Healthy Choices blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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