Pressure & Tourniquets for Bleeding Control

Pressure & Tourniquets for Bleeding Control

Our bodies are susceptible to injuries, and in any emergency situation, one of the most significant risks we must prepare for is bleeding. When we face bleeding injuries, time is of the essence, and it is vital to know how to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. This is where the knowledge of bleeding control techniques becomes critical. In this post, we will discuss two common techniques used to control bleeding – pressure and tourniquets.


Applying pressure to an injured area is one of the most effective ways to control bleeding. This procedure can be performed on any part of the body, but it is the first-line treatment for bleeding on the extremities. The idea behind this technique is to apply manual pressure directly to the wound, which will slow down or stop the bleeding.

To apply pressure, start by holding a clean cloth, gauze, or bandage over the bleeding wound. Apply firm pressure using the palm of your hand, and hold the cloth against the wound for at least 5 minutes. Ideally, apply a pressure dressing over the wound for an extended period. When wrapping the bandage, be gentle so as not to disrupt any formed blood clots around the wound.

When to use pressure:

Pressure is a technique for minor bleeding or for people who can control the bleeding on their own. It is also useful where it is not possible or practical to apply a tourniquet like internal bleeding or head injury.


In extreme cases, when pressure fails to control the bleeding, a tourniquet is essential. A tourniquet is a device or a method of applying pressure to an extremity to stop the flow of blood. It should only be used when all other measures have failed.

To apply a tourniquet, get a tourniquet band, and place it high above the wound on the limb, but not too close to the joint. Tighten using the winding mechanism until the bleeding stops. You should ensure the band is not causing pain to the wounded person, and if it is not working, you need to retighten it. Once the bleeding has stopped, secure the tourniquet in place by tying it, or via a locking mechanism if it has one.

When to use tourniquets:

Tourniquets should only be used as a last resort when the bleeding cannot be controlled by any other technique. They are particularly effective when there has been massive trauma or injuries to the limbs.


Knowing how to control bleeding is a crucial survival skill that could mean the difference between life and death in emergency situations. As detailed above, the two main techniques used are pressure and tourniquets. However, it is important to understand when to use each technique and to learn the correct way to properly perform them. With this knowledge, you can be better prepared to deal with unexpected emergencies and help when needed.