IDEA series: The Bleeding Arm Tourniquet Simulation

Tourniquet simulation

Education in emergency response to trauma is a global health priority [1]. Mortality rates are nearly twice as high in patients with trauma in low-income as compared to high-income countries [2]. With uncontrolled bleeding as the number one cause of death from trauma, tourniquet application has been the focus of training programs, like the “Stop the Bleed” campaign in the United States [3]. Although understanding how to apply a tourniquet is a life-saving intervention, use of a windlass tourniquet may not be intuitive [4].  The windlass tourniquet in its simplest form is the “stick-and-rope.” Winding the stick in the tourniquet creates a mechanical advantage for providing compression. Simulation of the windlass technique can be used to teach management of uncontrolled bleeding. Here we describe a low-cost simulation model that combines low- and high-fidelity techniques to train healthcare personnel on windlass tourniquet application.