UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Can an adult tourniquet be used on a pediatric patient?

Keywords: GSW, mass shooting, bleeding (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/16/2019 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 12/7/2019)
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Gunshot injuries are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population.  The Pediatric Trauma Society supports the use of tourniquets in severe extremity trauma.  The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) that is commonly used in adults has not been prospectively tested in children.  This study used 60 children ages 6 through 16 years and applied a CAT to the upper arm and thigh while monitoring the peripheral pulse pressure by Doppler.  The CAT was successful in occluding arterial blood flow in all of the upper extremities and in 93% of the lower extremities.

Bottom line: The combat application tourniquet can stop arterial bleeding in the school aged child.

References

Harcke et al.  Adult tourniquet use for school-age emergencies.  Pediatrics.  2109; 143 (6) e:20183447.