Bad, outdated advice from a major hospital that I won't name. You can bleed out in far less than 15 minutes. I've been told our military now trains that if there is serious bleeding in an extremity, the first thing is to apply a tourniquet. Unless relatively timely evac to a higher medical source is unavailable, they aren't going to lose the limb, even if the tourniquet is in place for several hours. Even if they do, it's better than dying.

May is Stop The Bleed Month. Stop The Bleed is a program of instruction aimed at teaching bystanders how to save lives by preventing exsanguination–you stop people from bleeding to death by the use of direct pressure, clotting agents and/or tourniquets. About 30,000 people die each year because they bleed out before the professionals get there to save them. We can put a big dent in that.

I keep trauma kits based on what I learned in my class in each vehicle and on each floor of the house. I’ll need to make one up for the tractor. If I’m mowing, using a chainsaw or any other tool that has the prospect for the unplanned removal of the flappy bits of my body, I at least have a tourniquet on me, and I mean on me. Like on my belt in the small of my back, so I can reach it with either hand.

I hate to think about all the unpaid overtime my guardian angel has worked over my life keeping me from getting seriously hurt or killed because I simply didn’t know better. Of course, back in the 70s-90s, tourniquet was a dirty word, so there’s that.

If there’s no class near you, you can always do the online version. I think hands-on with a good instructor is best, but the online is still worth the time.

Remember, like the old commercial said, “The life you save may be your own.”

Or your kids or grandkids. This reminds me, I need to start adding pediatric/kid stuff to the med supplies. I have some basics, but it’s time for more advanced gear.

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