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A few weeks ago in class (EMT), we were discussing tourniquet application in instances where there is bleeding that couldn't be controlled by pressure. In most cases, a tourniquet will be used on a limb that has arterial bleeding as opposed to venous. And in the case of arterial bleeding, the tourniquet will be applied proximal (above) to the injury.

However, I began to wonder if one had to use a tourniquet to control a venous bleed where the tourniquet would be applied. Since venous blood is flowing back to the heart, couldn't the tourniquet be applied distal to the injury?

Edit: Theoretically, this is an injury in which only a vein has been injured but the bleeding cannot be stopped through traditional methods.

  • It is just really rare to have major bleed from a vein is it has lower pressure. Above you still stop the blood from getting there. – paparazzo Feb 16 '17 at 13:06
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In venous lacerations, blood would be able to be stopped by placing a tourniquet below the injury. By stopping the blood from returning from the limb, you wouod be able to effectively prevent blood loss. This would work in the rare case of just the vein being cut, but it's safer to place the tourniquet above the injury in case the vein is not the only thing cut.

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  • Yeah, I understand that. I made an edit that might help a bit. – L.B. Oct 25 '16 at 16:32
  • @L.B. Are you sure you mean "vein" in your edit? – Tommy Woldt Oct 25 '16 at 16:34
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    Sorry, brain fart. – Tommy Woldt Oct 25 '16 at 16:40
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    I had to look at your answer before the edits to understand, but the changes you made to "fix" your answer simply made it wrong. It was a good answer when it addressed the original question but no longer. A tourniquet distal to the injury would indeed stop isolated venous bleeding (as rare as that would be). – Carey Gregory Oct 25 '16 at 17:27
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    I've already edited it, if it's right, I'll leave it. – Tommy Woldt Oct 25 '16 at 18:11

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