Combat Application Tourniquet Suitable for Use in Children

CAT successfully occluded arterial blood flow in all upper extremities, 93 percent of lower extremities

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) is suitable for use in the upper and lower extremities of school-age children, according to a study published online May 7 in Pediatrics.

H. Theodore Harcke, M.D., from the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, and colleagues recruited 60 school-age volunteers (aged 6 to 16 years) and applied the CAT to an upper arm and thigh while peripheral pulse was monitored by Doppler. The number of windlass turns needed to arrest arterial pulse was recorded, with a maximum of three allowed.

The researchers found that the CAT successfully occluded arterial blood flow as detected by Doppler pulse in all 60 upper extremities tested. Fifty-six had successful occlusion in the lower extremity. The three-turn maximum was not sufficient for some older, obese (body mass index >30 kg/m²) patients. The number of turns needed to occlude blood flow gradually increased with an increase in arm and thigh circumference in both the upper and lower extremities.

"Those developing protocols for pediatric emergencies can be confident that the CAT is suitable for hemorrhage control in the school-aged population," the authors write.

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