In upper limb surgery, the pneumatic tourniquet is an essential tool to provide a clean, bloodless surgical field, improving visualization of anatomical structures and preventing iatrogenic failure. Optimal inflation pressure to accomplish these objects without injuring normal tissue and inducing complications is not yet established. Use of the minimum tourniquet pressure necessary to produce a bloodless surgical field is preferable in order to prevent injury to normal tissue. Various methods have been implemented in an effort to lower effective cuff pressure. The purpose of this study is to report clinical experience with a new tourniquet system in which pressure is synchronized with systolic blood pressure (SBP) using a vital information monitor.
We routinely used the tourniquet system in 120 consecutive upper limb surgeries performed under general anaesthesia in our operating room instead of our clinic. Cuff pressure was automatically regulated to additional 100 mmHg based on the SBP and was renewed every 2.5 minutes intervals.
An excellent bloodless field was obtained in 119 cases, with the exception of one case of a 44-year-old woman who underwent internal screw fixation of metacarpal fracture. No complications, such as compartment syndrome, deep vein disorder, skin disorder, paresis, or nerve damage, occurred during or after surgery.
This new tourniquet system, synchronized with SBP, can be varied to correspond with sharp rises or drops in SBP to supply adequate pressure. The system reduces labor needed to deflate and re-inflate to achieve different pressures. It also seemed to contribute to the safety in upper limb surgery, in spite of rare unexpected oozing mid-surgery, by reducing tissue pressure.