Tourniquets, pneumatic are devices that enable surgeons to work in a bloodless operative field by occluding blood flow to a limb. Modern pneumatic tourniquets have three basic components: an inflatable cuff, a compressed gas source, and an instrument which automatically monitors and controls cuff pressure. The cuff is secured around the limb proximal to the operative site. Pressure is exerted on the circumference of the limb by means of compressed gas which is introduced into the tourniquet cuff by a microprocessor-controlled source, via connection tubing. When sufficient pressure is exerted, vessels and arteries beneath the cuff become temporarily occluded, preventing blood flow past the cuff. While the cuff is inflated, the tourniquet system automatically monitors and maintains the pressure chosen by the user. Cuff pressure and inflation time are displayed, and an audiovisual alarm alerts the user to alarm conditions, such as a cuff leak.
In the early 1980s, microprocessor-controlled pneumatic tourniquets were invented by Dr. James McEwen, PhD.
Zimmer (Aspen labs, Inc)
Zimmer ATS 1000