Learning how to apply a tourniquet and when it is appropriate to do so, is one of the first things taught to anyone who is trying to learn first aid. It’s a pretty simple procedure, and is extremely effective at stopping traumatic blood loss. But unfortunately it doesn’t work in all cases. There are certain parts of the body that you simply can’t apply an ordinary tourniquet to.
For instance, you can’t use a tourniquet on a wound in the gut or in the chest. You also can’t use a tourniquet on a wound that is located too far up on a limb, near the pelvis or the shoulder.
When that happens, in most cases you’ll have to apply pressure to the wound with one or both of your hands, which isn’t always ideal. If you or someone you’re with is suffering from a grievous injury, chances are you’re in a survival situation of some kind, and you’ll need your hands free for other tasks. Or if it’s going to be a long time before help arrives, your hands could get tired.
Fortunately there’s a fairly new invention that tackles this problem. It’s called a junctional tourniquet, which is capable of cutting off circulation in places that an ordinary tourniquet can’t reach. It’s so effective that even the US Army is giving these devices to their medics. Here’s how the junctional tourniquet works, according to the manufacturer: