Figure 2-23. Friction buckle being used when applying a CAT to a leg.
c. Apply an Improvised Tourniquet, if Needed. If a CAT is not available,
you can apply an improvised tourniquet.
(1) A tourniquet can be improvised from a sphygmomanometer if one is
available. Place the bladder (blood pressure cuff) around the tourniquet site, tape it
completely around to keep the Velcro from popping loose, and inflate the bladder until
no pulse is detected below the bladder, and leave the bladder inflated.
(2) Procedures for making an improvised tourniquet using a cravat and a
rigid object are given in Section III.
(3) Many improvised and manufactured tourniquets are available. Some,
even those still available through the Army system, may not be effective in stopping all
arterial bleeding. The basic cravat and stick tourniquet is still one of the simplest and
most effective tourniquets. Research has shown that a tourniquet must have an
external windlass or ratcheting device to be effective; so called one-handed
tourniquets can not be effectively tightened.
d. Check the Effectiveness of the Tourniquet. Check for a pulse below the
tourniquet. If the tourniquet has stopped arterial blood flow, there should be no pulse.
Also, the bright red arterial bleeding will have stopped. The darker venous blood may
continue to ooze even after the tourniquet has been properly applied. If there is still a
pulse below the tourniquet or if arterial bleeding continues, tighten the tourniquet.