Objective: The American College of Surgeons (ACS) encourages clinicians to provide training to laypeople on tourniquet application. It is unclear whether clinicians are confident in their abilities and equipped with adequate knowledge, skills, and resources. This study aimed to determine surgical trainee knowledge and attitudes regarding tourniquet application and compare the effectiveness of instructions. Methods: Thirty surgical trainees performed a tourniquet application simulation using a Combat Application Tourniquet and one of the three instructions sets developed by ACS, Department of Homeland Security, and the tourniquet manufacturer. Participants reported tourniquet knowledge, attitudes, and confidence and discussed the instructions. One instruction set was updated and compared to the original set with 20 new trainees. Results: Participants with ACS instructions passed the greatest number of steps (p > 0.01) and completed the task significantly faster compared to those with manufacturer instructions (p > 0.01). Participants (80%) reported favorable views toward tourniquets but 30-60% did not align with to ACS tourniquet guidelines. Focus group participants suggested revisions to the ACS instructions. Comparing the original and revised version of these instructions resulted in no significant improvements. Conclusions: ACS instructions provide guidance; however, improvements to tourniquet instruction are needed for success in controlling exsanguinating hemorrhage.
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