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I asked this question on Biology.SE but they directed me toward this site.

Suppose a leg is wounded (either from a gunshot or a knife) and there is significant bleeding. We see in movies that a fabric is tied around the place of bleeding to decrease/stop bleeding.

My question is: where should you apply the tight bandage, exactly on the wounded spot, above the wounded spot, or below the wounded spot?

Please also provide explanation. Thanks.

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Put the pressure on the wound as long as the wound is not to big for that, as @furtive mentioned! The answer you accepted is incomplete/wrong –  Paul Paulsen May 14 at 9:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

"tight bandage/band" = Tourniquet. An emergency tourniquet is generally used as a last resort, especially in civilian applications, for all blood flow below the application of an emergency tourniquet is stopped, and can subsequently kill the tissue, leading to eventual loss of the limb below application. Never attempt to apply a tourniquet unless you are qualified to do so. A tourniquet is a last resort to stop bleeding and is used to save life at possible loss of limb.

Where: place a 2 inch or wider tourniquet 2-4 Inches from the wound towards the heart. Never wrap your tourniquet directly around a wound, fracture, or joint. Doing so may cause severe pain and permanent physical damage to the patient.

Place some sort of padding underneath the tourniquet and wrap the tourniquet material around the limb several times. Use a torsion device such as a strong stick-like instrument that is 1 foot or longer. Tie an overhand knot over your torsion device, and then tie another. This will ensure that you have reached the torsion necessary to stop the bleeding entirely. Tighten the torsion device by twisting it in one direction until the material is tight around the limb and/or the bright red bleeding has stopped. Tie the loose ends of the tourniquet around the ends of the torsion device. This will help to ensure that your tourniquet does not loosen.

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-1: there is a different technique called compression bandage which is taught as a first aid method and should be used to cover heavily bleeding wounds and should ALWAYS take precedence over a tourniquet. I think your answer is very unsafe, because it promotes the more dangerous technique. –  Paul Paulsen May 14 at 8:45
    
@paul I answered the question, which talks about tourniquet...if he wants to learn more about first aid he should take a course... –  AM_Hawk Aug 2 at 20:59

For wounds with heavy bleeding or that are deep, the standard practice is to:

  1. Apply direct pressure to the wound.
  2. Elevate the injury to decrease blood flow.

In short, if the flow of blood is high enough that it won't clot then you want to impede the output by whatever means possible. As mentioned elsewhere, tourniquets are a last resort, where the lose of the limb is considered an acceptable outcome.

You can find on how to act in this case for example here or with your countries red cross.

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Small addendum to the excellent answers already present:

Never release a tourniquet unless you have received expert instruction on doing so.

If the patient who received a tourniquet does not receive medical attention within a few hours, it is likely that the patient will loose the affected limb. Therefore, before applying a tourniquet, make sure that a high likelihood of loosing a limb is a better outcome then not applying a tourniquet.

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