In a crisis, such as an active shooter situation, the use of a tourniquet or tourniquets may be necessary for the preservation of life. Depending on the location of the incident and the body sizes of the victims, what materials are used for the band and windlass will ultimately vary.
We used an ultrasound with one improvised tourniquet example of a phone receiver and necktie, which one could arguably find in places including but not limited to a school, healthcare facility, shopping mall, and sports arena; to prove the concept of blood flow cessation. This IRB-approved study used a gentleman with a height of six feet and a weight of 225 pounds.
When the necktie (the improvised band) and the phone receiver (the improvised windlass) were used together as a tourniquet on the forearm of the gentleman, his arterial blood flow stopped, as determined by visual inspection of the ultrasound screen.
Though some research indicates improvised tourniquets will fail, this will not likely not stop people from administering bleeding control assistance during a crisis. We wanted to prove the concept that an improvised tourniquet can work at ceasing the flow of blood, thereby not fail. If the proper band and windlass are used, blood flow can be stopped and a life can be saved.