Performance improvement in emergency tourniquet use during the Baghdad surge

American Journal of Emergency Medicine

Recently, we studied emergency tourniquet use, a vital need in war casualties, to stop bleeding, and knowledge generated helped to improve survival at a low risk of morbidity . We sought to document the impact of process improvement efforts over time on tourniquet success rates, the use of other hemorrhage control measures in conjunction with tourniquets, and the rate at which prehospital tourniquets were converted to pressure dressings as doctrine suggests . The 3 sequential periods surveyed corresponded to the precondition, the preparation, and the execution of the Baghdad surge; in comparison with the 2 previously reported periods, we report the third period now. The purposes of the present study are to (1) survey tourniquet use to fill knowledge gaps in casualty care in the current period and (2) compare results of the 3 periods to provide a model of implementing tourniquet use locally to civilian emergency medical systems.