BOSTON, M.A. (WLNE) — A trauma surgeon, who operated on victims of the Boston Marathon bombings after running the race himself, is now trying to make a life-saving skill universal.
Dr. David King, from Woonsocket, RI, is teaching anyone and everyone he can about the importance of tourniquets.
It’s a lesson he first learned as a Lt. Col. In the Army.
"2009 rolled around and every combatant in theater, every American, was carrying a tourniquet, usually two, and we watched the death rate from limb injuries plummet. I mean, down to single digits," said Dr. King.
He wants to make the skill of how to use a tourniquet as universal as the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR. He also wants to see tourniquets located wherever there is an AED, which are required in many public places.
Dr. King also believes it is important for people to carry tourniquets with them (in their purse, car, etc.) because of the life-saving efforts he saw from bystanders after the Boston Marathon bombings.
"I don't describe those people as 'bystanders.' They are 'by-doers,'” said Dr. King. “They are people who, through whatever our collective American virtues are, decided to help, most of them with no medical training whatsoever.”
Dr. King teaches the skill at schools, police departments, municipal buildings, etc.
"All we need to do is teach a very basic skill, how to put a tourniquet on, and we need to have a purpose-made tourniquet. So improvised tourniquets rarely work and they almost never work under duress, so that is under the stress of the real circumstance,” said. Dr. King.
If you would like to set up a lesson you can email KProut@partners.org.