Surgical Tourniquets: Clinical Considerations and Strategies for Safe Care

Course Code: 3642 / classroom

2 contact hours

Perioperative Nurses

Surgical tourniquets are used frequently in operative procedures on the extremities to control bleeding and optimize visualization. If used properly, surgical tourniquets are safe and invaluable tools, as they facilitate improved patient outcomes by reducing blood loss as well as operating time. However, the incorrect use of these devices is associated with potential complications and preventable damage due to various factors such as over-pressurization and prolonged inflation time. This continuing education activity will present an overview of the potential problems and complications associated with the use of surgical tourniquets. It will include a discussion of professional practice guidelines for the safe use of surgical tourniquets, including the determination of patient-specific arterial occlusion pressure. The key considerations of pneumatic tourniquet system components, including the various types of cuffs available today, as they relate to patient safety will be reviewed.