14 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-390

ISAF medics create simple tool to save Afghan lives

KABUL, Afghanistan - With the Afghan National Army taking a more active role in southern Afghanistan, the country’s soldiers are at increasingly more risk.  This got the ISAF medical staff embedded with the Afghan 1st Brigade thinking of a way to save lives.

The ISAF medics are part of an operational mentoring and liaison team (OMLT) that teaches a first aid program. To improve the techniques they teach, they went about creating locally produced equipment and procedures to help the Afghan soldier survive serious injuries.

First, they reviewed the types of materials available in Kandahar. Then they consulted with a materials technician and a parachute rigger. Finally, they narrowed the possibilities down to what could be created by local manufacturers.

The result is the Kandahar Tourniquet: a length of nylon webbing with two loops sewn into it. Wrap it around the limb above the wound, insert a section of a rifle cleaning rod through the loops, and twist.

The initial production run of 100 tourniquets was introduced to the first aid training program completed by the next infantry kandak prepared for deployment. By mid-July, manufacturers had produced 5,000 tourniquets with complementary instructional fact sheets and posters. The tourniquets are funded by ISAF’s Regional Command-South, and the mentoring team hopes to extend the tourniquet project throughout the ANA.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/