Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. John DesJardins

Committee Member

Dr. David Neyens

Committee Member

Dr. Joseph Singapogu


Since the beginning of the 21st century the general perspective on tourniquets has changed to a more positive outlook on their life saving abilities. The US has seen a greater number of mass casualty events, and conflicts across the globe have led to an increased use of tourniquets. The increased demand has also led to faulty counterfeit tourniquets and improvised tourniquets that don not properly occlude blood flow or cause significant nerve damage to the injured limb.

ASTM started designing a tourniquet testing standard with experts in the tourniquet community to cut down on the dangers of tourniquet use. As part of the standard, the committee commissioned a tourniquet test fixture to be created, in multiple physiological sizes. The aim of this study was to evaluate tourniquet testing methods and the ASTM tourniquet test fixture. The test fixture needs to provide accurate and reproducible results, in addition to being durable enough to withstand extreme testing conditions and repeated tests.

The test fixture was analyzed by calibration methods, tourniquet application, and tension testing. The calibration methods were found to be difficult to run without failure and were difficult to reproduce. Several tourniquets that are currently on the market were used for tourniquet testing to measure if the test fixtures produced the expected results.

Also noted during testing was the wear and tear done on the fixture during the limited testing that occurred compared to what would be expected of the device if it was made a part of the standard.

Conclusions of this study are that the fixture is not able to be reproducibly calibrated to give accurate results from the fixture. Tourniquet testing does produce mostly expected results, but the design of the fixtures presents significant issues such as buckling and not returning to the original shape. Tension data showed that the large fixture does not produce what is expected from the theoretical data but the small fixture has much more similarity because of the size. ASTM is moving forward with designing a new test fixture that can hopefully eliminate some limitations of the current design.



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