Smart tourniquet system for military use
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Extremities are the most frequently injured regions of body encountered with the combat casualties. The extremity hemorrhages constitute the leading cause of preventable deaths in the first aid period. Thus, tourniquets are indispensable devices for combat casualty care. There are some military tourniquets, which are produced worldwide and can be manually applied by the wound to prevent blood loss. However, in military applications, there is no tourniquet system comprising these features that can be used with one hand, can be applied quickly and transmits information. We have developed a tourniquet system which applies the required pressure to the extremity of the person by moving a belt connected to the pulley with a motor. When the arm or leg buttons on the device are pressed, the system is activated. Once the belt is fitted to the extremity, the system automatically starts the tourniquet process and is continued until the bleeding is stopped. The information of the blood flow and force applied are acquired via the feedback from the motor encoder and the force sensor. The system starts the tourniquet process and the bluetooth transmits the location and application time of the tourniquet. The receiver informs the headquarters via the military communication standard. In this respect, it is possible to be informed about exact location of the injured soldiers in the hot zone. In order to test the developed tourniquet, we have produced the leg phantoms which consist of femur bones and plastics similar to in actual dimensions of the human leg and artificial veins. Tourniquet operation was applied to the point where the tourniquet operated blood flow stopped. It is thought that the developed system will be used in military applications and internal security.