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The history of surgery is to a large extent written around the record of its technical advances. A pneumatic tourniquet is a humble instrument, when compared with many of the more complicated mechanical devices in the modern operation theatre. Nevertheless, it has played a significant role in making possible the precise operations of present-day orthopaedics. Simple tool though the tourniquet may be, its application carries many potential dangers, and it should only he entrusted to skilled hands.

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