Pulmonary embolism after application of a sterile elastic exsanguination tourniquet

Viktor Feldman, Ahmad Biadsi, Omer Slavin, Benjamin Kish, Israel Tauber, Meir Nyska, Yaron S. Brin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sterile elastic exsanguination tourniquets (HemaClear; OHK Medical Devices, Haifa, Israel) are relatively new on the market but are widely used because of the ease and speed of their application. The sterile elastic exsanguination tourniquet consists of a silicon ring wrapped in a stockinet sleeve with pull straps. The physician places the ring on the patient's fingers or toes and then pulls the straps proximally. The silicon ring rolls up the limb, and the stockinet sleeve unrolls onto the limb. During proximal rolling, the device displaces blood out of the limb (exsanguination). When the elastic ring reaches the preferred occlusion location, the pulling motion is stopped. The ring exerts suprasystolic pressure on the limb, thereby blocking arterial blood flow into the limb and thus acts as a tourniquet. HemaClear tourniquets are thin and sterile and therefore provide a large operative field. The authors report 2 cases of pulmonary embolism after HemaClear tourniquet application in patients with traumatic injuries (fractures of the patella and tibial plateau). Exsanguination applies mechanical stress that might dislodge a preexisting deep venous thrombosis, leading to the serious complication of pulmonary embolism. The authors want to increase awareness of this possible fatal complication during procedures performed on the lower limbs, when the HemaClear tourniquet is used for exsanguination of the affected limb. Careful consideration should be given to the use of HemaClear tourniquets in high-risk patients and those with traumatic injuries, especially when there has been a delay in surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1160-e1163
JournalOrthopedics
Volume38
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

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