By Coach Nick
Happy Wednesday everyone! For the next few posts I am going to talk about ways to improvise certain medical devices in the field in emergency situations. Today we are going to talk about the torniquet, when to use one, and how to make it out of readily available items.
As most of you probably know, a torniquet is used to cut off blood flow to any of our limbs in the event of a life-threatening bleed. The best way to think about it is that it’s always used as a last resort, never our first treatment option. Also, it is only used to treat arterial bleeding which can be recognized when blood is spurting or spraying from a wound as is bright red in color. The arteries we are concerned with here are the femoral (inside of your thigh), brachial (upper arm), and radial (wrist). Even with these kinds of bleeds we should always try to treat them first by applying pressure to the wound.
When we use a torniquet we are effectively cutting off all blood flow to the limb below the application site. This is why we want to be selective in deciding to use it because there is a significant chance that the patient will lose that limb if the torniquet is left on for longer than a few hours. In applying a torniquet the most important thing is that we need to be sure that it’s tight enough to stop all blood flow. The easiest way to check this is looking for what we call a distal pulse. In the arm, look for a pulse in the patient’s write, and in the feet, look for it right below their ankle. When the torniquet is applied you should not feel this pulse, if you do, tighten it. Applying a torniquet is extremely painful for the patient and it will continue to be so as it is left on however it is crucial not to loosen it until you get to a higher level of care. When deciding where to apply the torniquet we want to make sure that is directly on the skin (not over clothes) and 2-3 inches above the site of the bleeding. The last, and very important step, is to note the time the torniquet was applied. This will tell doctors how to approach the situation when the patient is evacuated to a higher level of care. This is commonly done by writing a “T” and the time on the patient’s forehead in Sharpie that way the information can not be lost as the patient is passed along to different medical teams.
The most effective torniquets are the ones sold commercially called CAT torniquets (https://www.narescue.com/combat-application-tourniquet-c-a-t.html). They cost $30 and are very light weight and easy to carry, I would highly recommend buying a good one and adding it to your first aid kit. If the situation arises where you need to improvise one I have attached a video giving you some basic instructions on how to make one. I would caution against this method as these will not always work the way we want them to and the presence of adrenaline will make them very difficult to construct. If a patient is suffering an arterial bleed that requires a torniquet they typically have between 1-3 minutes in which we can save their lives. Given this, I would highly recommend carrying an easily accessible professionally made device.
As always, especially in this case, I hope that this information never applies to you guys. If the situation ever arises I hope it helps you be more prepared. Have a great week everyone!
Sunday was Meg's 7 Year TSCF Anniversary! She is one of our OG members and we just love it when she walks through our doors with a big smile and some amazing shoes. Thank you Meg for your loyalty and dedication to yourself and our TSCF community.
Meg Segal - Why do you Do CrossFit?
What was your life like before you started training with True Spirit CrossFit?
Before coming to True Spirit I thought CrossFit was an "agro-workout for weight lifter type of people"
What brought you to True Spirit CrossFit in the first place?
Kerri brought me to TSCF. I had been playing volleyball with her for years. She had been getting stronger and was playing better. When I asked what she was doing she said CrossFit. It was probably two years later that I actually took her up on the invasion to come with her to a class.
What was your first impression? Has that changed?
The class I went to with Kerri was a partnership work out and we were the only ones there, so it was fun, but kind of odd. The first class that I went to on my own, after Foundations, was one of the most welcoming experiences I have ever had in a group setting of people I didn't really know. Matt Conner recognized me from our children's school and everyone was encouraging and kind. I loved it immediately.
What was the first thing fun or positive thing you experienced while training with us?
I really like the body weight stuff, burpees, pushups, box jumps, running and pull ups. But I'm beginning to love the weights. Front and Back Squats rock my world
Are you working on any special CrossFit related skill now?
Double unders are my Kryptonite. The challenge is real. I WILL GET THEM! I also really really want to do a muscle up. I'd also like to increase my 1 RM back squat.
How has you life changed since training with TSCF?
All of my athletic endeavors are more fun. I have broken my personal records in running and have participated in more variety of things then I ever have before. I'm mostly having more fun in all parts of my life. I am less stressed about my business and my family because exercise is a much more consistent part of my world, thanks to CrossFit. Oh yes, I had a bone scan about a month ago and I no longer have Osteopenia!! No drugs, only added weights and calcium.
What's your favorite True Spirit CrossFit memory?
I have so many favorites, but what I like most is being present when someone does something for the first time that they didn't know they could do; Sam's first pull up, Alison's dead lift, watching Matt comeback from his ankle injury and killing it, Duane's massive amount of weight that he can dead lift, Leslie making Clean and jerks look easy and graceful, Tami's Kettlebell swings, I can go on and on and on and on..... and I also like it when I surprise myself.
by Coach Leslie
Every Tuesday and Thursday night at 1830 (that's 6:30pm to most of us) a group of young men and women arrive at our gym for our Report Ready program.
Report Ready is our non-profit program that prepares men and women for military service. Report Ready is free for anyone enrolled in the US Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program or the US Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course.
In fact, we started this program at the request of our local Marine Corps recruiter Staff Sergeant Andrew Hoopi. He need assistance getting his poolies, people enrolled in the delayed entry program AKA recruit pool, into shape so they could pass the USMC Initial Fitness Test (IST) and have greater success at USMC Recruit Training. SSgt Hoopi was leading his poolies in physical training on Tuesday and Thursday nights at the mall where his recruiting office is located and was finding it increasingly difficult to come up with effective training sessions without equipment and a dedicated space to train.
He approached Coach Leslie in late March 2021 about a partnership. Could his poolies train at True Spirit CrossFit in exchange for cleaning the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Since Coach Leslie is a USMC veteran herself and has a mission to give back where she can to the Marine Corps, this was a win-win. However, TSCF did not have the staffing capacity to run a military prep course twice a week.
Coach Leslie was discussing the situation with Kim Pribanic, an OG TSCF member, who at the time was teaching an exercise physiology course at MSU and had an exceptional student who was enrolled in the USMC Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) and perhaps he would be interested in training the poolies. That's how Coach Mattias became part of her TSCF coaching team. He and Coach Leslie met, decided he was the right person for this position, and within 2 weeks he completed his Level 1 CrossFt Training and began training the poolies.
Since Coach Mattias was in the PLC, the Officer version of the Delayed Entry Program, he invited the rest of his PLC group to join our program. Within a few weeks we had future officer and enlisted recruits training side by side.
A few weeks later Steve Rast, another OG TSCF member, introduced Coach Leslie to Micah. Micah is also a USMC veteran and a Tactical Fitness Instructor. A few days later Coach Micah became a member of our Report Ready coaching team.
In May, another USMC veteran joined our gym. Nick was transitioning from being a USMC Infantry Officer into a full time MSU Graduate student. He was already CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and so he became part of our Report Ready and TSCF coaching team.
Our Report Ready program is unique in that it is run by USMC veterans, Coach Nick was an officer and Coach Micah was enlisted, and a future military service member Coach Mattias. Coach Mattias will start his military service once he graduates from MSU.
Each Coach brings a special talent to the team. Coach Nick is a master planner and logistics coordinator and he plans all the sessions. Coach Micah is exceptionally creative and programs the training sessions to include mental fitness in addition to physical fitness. Coach Mattias is a terrific motivator and often works out with the group to encourage them to push a little harder.
Report Ready is also special in that it's the only program we know of where future officer candidates and enlisted recruits train side by side. They will be separated when they attend their respective Military training and indoctrination programs, and once they're in the USMC proper they will have to navigate a rank structure that can create an antagonistic relationship. Our Coaches work hard to create an environment of mutual respect which we feel will foster amity amongst these future Marines.
These mental and social lessons are an exceptional side benefit to a program whose main mission is to increase the strength and conditioning of the participants so they can pass the USMC IST and be physically prepared for Recruit Training and Officer Candidate School.
The USMC IST is as follows:
PULL UPS / PUSH UPS
The Report Ready participants take an IST at regular intervals to a track their progress. They also repeat specific workouts to encourage and motivate them. The expected outcome of our Report Ready program is that our participants will pass the IST, excel at the USMC Physical Fitness Test, be better physically prepared for basic training and complete basic training injury free.
As was mentioned at the beginning of this blog, our Report Ready program is a non-profit program. Our local Marine Corps League detachment (a service organization for USMC veterans) provided a modest grant to establish the program. However, we do not receive any funding from the US Marine Corps or US government to support Report Ready. True Spirit CrossFit donates the space, equipment, and operating expenses. The Report Ready Coaches donate their time. The Report Ready participants clean the gym after every session which is a high value trade.
The Report Ready program was recently featured in the October issue of Bozeman Life magazine. You can read it here.
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