Surgical tourniquets enable surgeons to work in a bloodless operative field by preventing blood flow to a limb. This allows surgical procedures to be performed with improved precision, safety and speed. Tourniquets are widely used in orthopedic and plastic surgery, as well as in intravenous regional anesthesia (Bier block anesthesia) where they serve the additional function of preventing local anesthetic in the limb from entering general circulation.
In the early 1980s, microprocessor-controlled pneumatic tourniquets were invented by Dr. James McEwen, PhD. Automatic tourniquets based on this invention are now standard equipment in operating rooms worldwide, and these systems have significantly improved the safety and convenience of tourniquet use.
Despite many advances in tourniquet technology, tourniquet-related injuries continue to be of concern. High pressures under a tourniquet cuff can cause nerve, muscle and skin injury. Minimizing tourniquet pressure, reducing inflation time and using a microprocessor-controlled pneumatic tourniquet, which allows pressure to be accurately monitored and controlled, reduce the risk of tourniquet-related injury.
Famous quotes containing the word surgical:
“With all the surgical skill and the vital rays lavished on him he should talk like alike a congressman at a filibuster.”
—Kenneth Langtry. Herbert L. Strock. Prof. Frankenstein (Whit Bissell)