Professor Nancy Reid, MHA, DHSc, PA-C
Civilian and military trauma management has evolved extensively over the past 50 years. Correcting tourniquet use misinformation has been met with perplexing controversy in the past, but this rectification is perhaps one of the most significant advancements in modern emergency care. The safe duration of tourniquet application and whether this therapy contributes to limb loss has polarized debate among experts for decades. Though tourniquets have been safely used in orthopedic surgery for years and without any reported tourniquet-associated amputations, this data only trickled into the purview of emergency medicine providers. Rare complications of tourniquets do occur; however, a review of the literature does not support a causation element between extremity tourniquets and limb amputation, even when the duration of use exceeds estimated skeletal muscle ischemic thresholds.
Sparks BW. Does Tourniquet Use Contribute to the Amputation of a Salvageable Extremity?. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2020; 2(1).
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