Your Questions

When will the Pocket Guide be available?

The Pocket Guide will be available to order from 1st January 2017 at minimal cost.

Follow us on twitter @Thecitizenaid or on Facebook and we will remind you as soon as it is available to order.

When will the Phone App be available?

The phone APP will be launched on 1st January 2017.

Follow us on twitter @Thecitizenaid or on Facebook and we will remind you as soon as it is available to download. This is a free APP.

What initial information should be passed from the scene?

To tell the emergency services what’s happening, call 999 and the operator will quickly get the important information that’s needed. Be prepared to answer questions on the situation (what’s happening), your location, the injured (how many there are, even if this is just an estimate), the dangers you know about, and the emergency services who you can see are present or are still needed. The operator will determine the questions that need to be asked in your situation, and their order.

I’ve been told before that tourniquets are dangerous and should not be used, is that right?

This is a popularised myth. Tourniquets have saved the lives of many soldiers in recent years, who have suffered bomb and gunshot injuries. The indication for a tourniquet is severe bleeding from an arm or leg that cannot be controlled by other means. citizenAID guides you to use firm pressure into the wound through a dressing and elevation where possible.

The dressing can be plain medical gauze or an activated gauze if you have it, but if you don’t then it is OK to improvise with clothing (a piece of shirt or t-shirt, a light scarf, or a sock). Pack the wound with the dressing and apply pressure with your finger, knuckles or fist, depending on the size of the wound.

Elevate the injured limb if you can to above the level of the heart. You can hold a limb up with your hands, or call for someone to help you. You can also prop up a limb on rolled up clothing, a bag or a box.

If severe bleeding continues from an arm or leg after you have packed the wound, applied pressure and elevated the limb, then a tourniquet is needed. You will know very quickly if you are able to control severe bleeding by packing, pressure and elevation. Don’t delay with a limb tourniquet. Prompt action saves lives.

There is one situation where a tourniquet must be applied as the first action to control bleeding. If you can see an arm or leg has been amputated by the blast of a bomb, apply a tourniquet immediately.

The evidence for the life-saving effect of limb tourniquets is now well documented in the scientific literature. You can find evidence of British and American military experience here:

  • British military experience of the life-saving effect of tourniquets

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18619170

S Brodie, T Hodgetts, J Ollerton (2007). Tourniquet use in combat trauma: UK military experience. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, volume 153 (number 4), pages 310-313.

  • American military experience of the life-saving effect of tourniquets

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106667

J Kragh, T Walters, D Baer (2009). Survival with emergency tourniquet use to stop bleeding in major limb trauma. Annals of Surgery, volume 249 (number 1), pages 1-7.

If you would like to read the reasoning behind using tourniquets in the UK within the civilian setting it is described in detail here:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2660095/

J Lee, K Porter, T Hodgetts (2007). Tourniquet use in the civilian prehospital setting. Emergency Medicine Journal, volume 24 (number 8), pages 584–587.

You can also find the recommendations from the American College of Surgeons for tourniquet use in civilian first aid (to improve survival from active shooter and bombing events) here:

https://www.facs.org/about-acs/hartford-consensus

American College of Surgeons (2015). Strategies to improve survival in active shooter and intentional mass casualty events: a compendium. The Hartford Consensus. ACS Bulletin, Volume 1S, pages 1-88.

The continued need for a tourniquet will be assessed by the emergency services and hospital staff.