POLARISInternational Disaster Response Team

Bleeding and Tourniquets

“Someone is squirting blood from the arm! Quick, I think we’re supposed to tie something around it! Grab a belt, a shoelace, or guitar strings, I saw that in a show once!”

Fool!!! Do nothing of the sort!!!

A belt does have enough tension to stop blood flow, a shoelace would break, and guitar strings would likely amputate the limb!

How do I do a tourniquet?

Don’t start with a tourniquet! First try to control the bleeding with direct pressure using gauze or other textiles! And if it continues to bleed try MORE direct pressure with more textiles! ONLY if it still continues to bleed move on to a tourniquet!

You’ll need something like a scarf or a t-shirt torn in half.

You’ll place it upstream from the bleeding area (towards the heart).

You’ll tie a knot with the fabric, and then place a pen, stick or other stick-like object in the middle of the knot. At this point it would look like two half-knots with a pen in the middle, separating them.

You’ll now take the pen and twist it, this will exert considerable force on the fabric and tighten it considerably. Keep twisting the pen until the blood flow stops.

You’ll now secure the pen! Don’t let go of it! For it will un-wind and the bleeding will resume! Secure it with more textiles, socks, shoe laces, whatever you can, just tie the pen down.

Write the time on the person’s forehead and a capital letter ‘T’.

Get the person to the Emergency Room! The limb should last 24 hours before needing to be amputated.


Do NOT under any circumstances:

  1. Remove the tourniquet once it is in place
  2. Undo it a little bit to lessen the pressure or see if the bleeding has stopped
  3. Apply tourniquets anywhere except for arms and legs! They only go extremities. Never on someone’s neck

What about Bleeding from Zombie Attacks?

IMPORTANT: With the information in this guide you can drastically reduce your chances of getting turned into a zombie.

Injuries from zombies are no laughing matter.

These are life or death situations which require exact medical interventions.

Download our guide and learn:

  • How to treat a zombie scratch
  • What to do if bitten
  • The 3 different types of zombie bites
  • The 8 zombie infection symptoms
  • How to deal with zombie body fluids

Where shall we send your guide?

As an additional gift you'll also receive a subscription to our weekly newsletter of awesomeness with helpful tips.

* indicates required