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Cincinnati officers to carry new tourniquet

Cincinnati officers to carry new tourniquet (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It's one of the oldest forms of first aid with a new twist.

It will likely save more lives than CPR and the Heimlich maneuver and, according to some doctors, people need one and it may someday save their life. Straight from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan to the streets of Cincinnati; soon every Cincinnati police officer will carry one thanks to UC Medical Center.

When America sent soldiers into battle in Iraq and Afghanistan they went with first aid technology older than the Civil War. In 2005 that changed to a new type of tourniquet that reduced battlefield deaths by more than 30 percent. In fact, the tourniquet was called the “combat application tourniquet” because it was given to everyone in combat.

Dr. Edward Otten of UC Medical Center said, “The person who applies the tourniquet to the casualty initially saves their lives.” He continued, “If they have to wait for a medic to get there or go to the hospital it's going to be too late.”

UC doctors Edward Otten, Brian Gavitt, and Jay Johannigman are bringing the battle tested device to Cincinnati streets to save lives. Tourniquets sound almost too simple to change lives to the degree of CPR, but that's exactly what’s happening.

Automatic External Defibrillators are saving countless lives across the country. But, a short time ago, people couldn't find one. The doctors say tourniquets will soon be hanging right next to them.

“Ambulances and medics don't come in there until police have cleared the scene so the people who save lives are the individuals who have the ability to control bleeding in trauma,” said Dr. Brian Gavitt.

It's the single most common preventable cause of death on the battlefield and at home. The key is using a tourniquet within minutes of when it's needed. That's why people must have one close by.

CLICK HERE for more information about how or where to buy a tourniquet and instructions.

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