Each year, emergency rooms across the United States see roughly 70 trauma cases in which a patient arrives at the hospital wearing a tourniquet.
The number is minuscule, given that 2.3 million Americans are hospitalized each year for trauma. But military physicians say more lives would be saved if members of the general public had access to, and knew how to use, tourniquets.
Speaking Wednesday from the Military Health System Research Symposium in Kissimmee, Florida, Defense Department combat trauma experts said the skill should be as widely taught as basic first aid and CPR, especially with mass shootings and terrorist attacks on the rise.
“We are after ‘zero preventable deaths’ from trauma injury … it’s our cancer moon shot. Is it a long stretch? Is it a high goal? Yes, but it’s not any different to me than saying we are going to cure cancer in five years,” Air Force Col. Todd Rasmussen said.