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Tourniquets, once scorned, save lives

Schenectady firefighter/paramedic Brian Daviero, left, and Capt. Anthony Helstowski demonstrate applying a tourniquet Friday at Station 2 on State Street.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Schenectady firefighter/paramedic Brian Daviero, left, and Capt. Anthony Helstowski demonstrate applying a tourniquet Friday at Station 2 on State Street.
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When Dr. Jeff Rea attended medical school, tourniquets were regarded as outmoded and dangerous, “Civil War medicine.” “We were taught never to use tourniquets,” said Rea, who works in the emergency department and surgical intensive care unit at Albany Medical Center. But over the past decade, tourniquets have made a comeback, and Rea used them while serving as a flight surgeon in Iraq. “They are absolute lifesavers,” he said. Medical experts said that without tourniquets, ...

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