Tourniquets used to save lives in Dayton shooting

National

Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Nine people, including the suspect’s sister, were killed Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio. Police shot and killed the suspect about 30 seconds after he started shooting. Investigators have not confirmed if the suspect targeted anyone specifically.

There are reports that officers on scene in Ohio were asking people for belts to use as tourniquets. We all hope we’re never involved in a situation such as this, but it’s important to know how to make, and use a tourniquet, in the event something like this happens even closer to home.

“It doesn’t take someone very long to bleed out by the time they get to a hospital so teaching the community how to apply tourniquets will help save people’s lives,” said Andrew Haiflich, Director of Trauma Services at USA Health University Hospital.

He says depending on the severity of the injury, a person could bleed out in minutes.

“But if someone is right there and responds with putting a tourniquet on, that gives that person extra time to get to the hospital in order to receive the care they need,” he told News 5.

In both mass shootings over the weekend, people pulled together and tried to save the victims, using things like belts and other articles of clothing as tourniquets.

“You can use anything from a shirt, a towel or a jacket and you just put that right over the wound and you apply direct pressure right on top of it,” Haiflich said.

Doing it properly should take no more than 20 seconds, and it needs to be tight.

“When you put on a tourniquet it should always stop the bleeding. So if you put a tourniquet on and they’re still bleeding, then you most likely did not put it on correctly,” Haiflich told Cherish Lombard.

The tourniquet should be applied about 2 inches higher than the wound.

Another option is to pack the wound to stop the bleed, which can also be done with things like the shirt off your back.

Haiflich said, “All you’ll do is take whatever material you have, in this case we have some gauze, and you’re going to pack it all the way down to the base of the wound, and then you’re going to keep applying it on top of itself until you get to the surface of the wound.”

It’s important to make a note of the time the wound is packed or a tourniquet is applied so first responders know how much time they have to treat the victim. As a rule of thumb, a tourniquet should not be left on for more than 2 hours.

Stop the Bleed classes offered at USA Health University Hospital: https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/com/departments/surgery/stop-the-bleeding-training.html

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