In Sweden, it is cold for a large part of the year and the cold makes it more difficult to work with your hands. Therefore, it is likely that cold also affects the ability to use a tourniquet to stop severe bleeding when performing first aid. Researchers at KMC examined how cold the hands of medical lay people could get, before their ability to use a tourniquet was impaired. The study participants’ hands were cooled to 16, 12 and 8°C hand temperature, after which they applied a tourniquet at room temperature. The results showed that the time it took to apply a tourniquet was prolonged only at 8°C hand temperature, but that the ability to apply the tourniquet in a correct manner was not affected by cooling. The effect is probably greater in cases where the environment in which the tourniquet is used is also cold. The results contribute to further development of the Stop the Bleeding concept and how lay people can be trained in bleeding control.
Wilhelm Brodin, Marc Friberg, Carl-Oscar Jonson, Erik Prytz,
The effect of cold hands on immediate responder’s tourniquet application ability: A within-group trial.
Human Factors in Healthcare, Volume 3, 2023, 100038.