Colorado police credit tourniquets for saving lives

KUSA – For the fourth time since the summer of 2014, Colorado police have credited a tourniquet with helping save the life of a police officer.

Last week, police say a carjacking suspect shot Denver Police officer Tony Lopez Jr. multiple times. Within a minute, a fellow Denver Police Officer used a tourniquet on Lopez's leg.

"If (the officer) hadn't applied that tourniquet, my son would not have survived," Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez Sr. said.

This week, Denver Police say 300 to 400 more officers will undergo the same tourniquet training that helped save the officer's life. Included on that list is Commander Lopez Sr.

Once considered a threat to the long-term viability of a limb, the tourniquet has grown in popularity after events like the Aurora theater shooting. In that case, multiple Aurora Police Officers had to deliver patients to nearby hospitals once they learned ambulances and paramedics weren't in a position to rescue many of the wounded.

Since then, many metro-area police departments have sent their officers to training modeled after the military's Tactical Combat Casualty Care course.

In July of 2014, tourniquets were used on two Lakewood Police Officers who were shot shortly after responding to a call of a man with a gun.

Later on that year, a fellow officer applied a tourniquet to officer Ryan Burns' leg after he was shot during a traffic stop.

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(© 2015 KUSA)


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