Tourniquets have been used for centuries in order to prevent fatalities from catastrophic bleeding. Their usage has been widely debated and even restricted within the first aid industry. This instructional video shows you how to quickly secure a tourniquet in place using a rugby ball to replicate the upper thigh / arm. 


Securing a tourniquet above an arterial bleed has the effect of closing the blood vessel and will prevent blood escaping from the wound. Arterial wounds are often fatal; therefore a correctly applied tourniquet could prove the difference between life and death in an emergency. 

Did you know - If left untreated a casualty with an arterial bleed can have as little as 10 minutes to survive 


Tourniquets should only be applied to arterial bleeds in the legs and arms. Their restriction within the first aid industry is as a result of incorrect use on other less serious bleeds. This is because it is possible to lose the limb when a tourniquet is applied. They should only ever be used when there is an imminent risk to life. Examples below:

  • Terrorist related incidents 
  • Stab wounds
  • Accidents with chainsaws (and other machinery)


The tourniquet is not an item in a british standard kit. If your risk assessment includes catastrophic arterial bleeds then the tourniquet could be kept alongside other first aid items. Otherwise the tourniquet should be carried by trained personnel in backpacks etc ready to be used as and when necessary. Bars and nightclubs may keep a tourniquet in specially designed bleed kits.

Did you know - The Daniel Baird foundation is a charity which donates bleed control kits to high risk areas such as the City of London