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Prolonged Tourniquet Ischemia of Extremities An Experimental Study on Dogs
Francis X. Paletta; Vallee Willman; Arthur G. Ship
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Section on Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis
1960 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1960 Sep 01;42(6):945-950
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The effects of the application of a tourniquet for five hours to the hind limbs of anesthetized dogs were studied under various conditions. The time required for the return of skin and muscle temperatures to normal after tourniquet ischemia was determined, as well as the degree of edema at the site of the application of the tourniquet and the neuromuscular damage. Massive edema and drop-foot were observed in untreated dogs after occlusion by the tourniquet for five hours. Heparin administered prior to tourniquet application, or just prior to tourniquet removal, afforded considerable amelioration of this damage, with a lessened degree of edema that resolved earlier. Drop-foot was prevented, and the return of skin and muscle temperatures to normal levels was more rapid if heparin was administered.

Selective hypothermia afforded practically complete protection of the ischemic limbs from the changes observed in the control animals. The explanation of these beneficial effects of heparin and hypothermia is not apparent, and further studies are in progress.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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