According to About.com, once a tourniquet is in place, it should not be taken off until medical personnel remove it. Even though a tourniquet sometimes causes tissue damage, removing it without proper training lets serious bleeding restart. The patient is then at risk of bleeding to death.
Because they are potentially hazardous to patients, tourniquets should not be used until all other options are exhausted, About.com explains. Tourniquets are justified when bleeding is uncontrollable or the environment is unsafe for prolonged treatment. A tourniquet must be applied until all bleeding stops. If bleeding is only reduced, the closest artery is still transporting blood away from the heart, and the patient remains in great danger.