There are many instances in which severe blood loss can pose life threatening outcomes. In this case, Police Officer Lorne Juday with Big Rapids Dept. of Public Safety was dispatched for a possible suicide attempt. He recalls the scene he arrived to:
“This incident involved a mentally unstable young woman who stabbed herself in the thigh with a steak knife. After the injury, she walked up a flight of stairs, then back down and outside on the sidewalk approximately 100 feet. She asked a girl sitting in a car for help, before she became unconscious and collapsed between two cars due to the amount of lost blood.
Her boyfriend and a bystander attempted to apply pressure and use towels, which probably slowed some of the blood loss, but did not stop it. The towels and the woman's leggings were completely soaked when I arrived.
Once I saw the injury with blood pooled on the ground and how soaked the towels were, I thought, ‘Well, I've got something for that.’ I pulled the SAM XT out of my sap pocket, snapped it down to open the loop, and applied it. The tourniquet stopped - or at least severely slowed the major blood loss - even applied over her leggings. Once I tightened it until the pressure plate clicked, I only had to turn it 2 or 3 times to stop the blood flow.
By this point, she had lost a significant amount of blood and the SAM XT helped save her life by keeping what little blood she had left from leaking out!
I later learned from rescue that the hospital confirmed her femoral artery had been cut - the largest artery in your thigh.”