Posted by Amy Alton, ARNP on March 13, 2016
Doom and Bloom has talked about tourniquets in the past, but what might be an ideal tourniquet for the average citizen? The Sof-T and CAT tourniquets are both excellent for adults with a good arm or leg circumference. But what if your injured victim is a small child or elderly person with thin arms? What if you have an infant or even a pet you need to save?
SWAT-T should be your answer to these issues.SWAT-T stands for Stretch, Wrap, and Tuck Tourniquet, and the instructions are, essentially, all in the name.
The SWAT tourniquet is a wide elastic band that can serve as a compact, lightweight, and inexpensive tourniquet or pressure dressing. It’s very simple to use, especially with two hands: Stretch it, wrap (at least 2 inches) above the area of bleeding on the extremity, and tuck the end into itself. Not only is it that easy, but also the instructions are printed in big bold letters all over the tourniquet.
The SWAT-T is often carried as a backup to other tourniquets due to its versatility: It can be used as a pressure dressing as well as a tourniquet, or even just as a covering for other dressings without any significant pressure at all. Other non-tourniquet uses include stabilizing a splint or ice pack for orthopedic injuries, holding an abdominal dressing in place, and even as a sling for an injured arm or shoulder.
For the medic, having a supply of tourniquets is important to save lives that would otherwise be lost due to bleeding. Even if you have other tourniquets, consider adding the versatile and lightweight SWAT-T to your medical storage.