Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Toronto to Wood Working Tools >> Tourniquet

Tourniquet

bandage, limb and hemorrhage

TOURNIQUET, a contrivance for com pressing a blood-vessel to stop the flow of blood in amputations and in dangerous hemorrhage from wounds and to control the circulation through an aneurism. It is •believed to have been first used in France by Morel (1674). As used by this surgeon in amputations of limbs, it consisted of a stick passed beneath a bandage and twisted so that the tight knot would exert especial pressure on the principal bleeding ves sel, the rest of the bandage compressing the other vessels of the limb sufficiently. At the present time such a tourniquet is known as an emergency tourniquet, which may also consist of anything tied around the part above the wound in case of arterial hemorrhage (below, in case of venous hemorrhage) and twisted by means of a stick or anything convenient. Com pression is increased by placing a pad over the main artery. Compression of a bleeding vessel with the thumb or finger is of service where a tourniquet cannot he obtained. Tourni

quets are of various kinds and are named prin cipally from their inventors. Du Puytren's tourniquet consists of a semi-circular piece of metal with a head at one end and is used to compress the abdominal aorta; Esmarch's con sists of a piece of flat rubber tubing to be wound about the upper part of a limb, after the blood has been driven out of the limb by an elastic bandage or to be used by itself in com pression of the iliac arteries, the abdominal aorta, etc. The field tourniquet, resembling Petit's spiral tourniquet, is a padded strap to be buckled on and pressed down by a screw upon an artery. With the horseshoe tourniquet, named from its shape, pressure is exerted at two points. The provisional tourniquet is one applied loosely, to be tightened in case of necessity.