Comparison of pressure points versus tourniquet application for first aid control of arterial bleeding in beachgoers: a randomised controlled cross over trial

Grant ID: EMLE-268R40-2023-BRUCE

Project Summary

Arterial injuries to the lower limb, such as from a shark bite or deep laceration, can lead to catastrophic bleeding and death. Current first aid measures involve trained personnel applying an arterial tourniquet. However, even a short delay in haemorrhage management can lead to significant blood loss, brain injury or death. There is growing evidence that the simple technique of applying pressure to the groin can effectively occlude blood flow through the femoral artery, buying time for medically trained personnel to attend. One potential application of this technique is the treatment of shark attack victims with lower limb injuries, where beachgoers without medical training who have only seen a sign on a beach could apply life saving first aid. There is plethora of other potential applications outside marine encounters where this technique could be critical in reducing blood loss such as limb trauma from motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries or military settings. The benefits are the simplicity of the technique which may be both easily and effectively performed by bystanders with no medical training. Using a non-clinical environment, we intend on performing a randomised trial to evaluate the efficacy of non-medically trained beachgoers performing pressure points compared with the application of a commercial arterial tourniquet after reading an infographic. We will measure the reduction in arterial blood flow using doppler ultrasound. The project aims to generate translatable research with the goal of influencing local, national, and international first aid guidelines.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Kimberley Bruce

Co Investigators:
Dr Peter Snelling
Mr James Furness
Dr Philip Jones
Dr Don Campbell OAM
Dr Bhavik Patel
Mr Philip Abery
M Kevin Kemp-Smith


CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064