Tourniquets - What do you use and why?

What tourniquet do you use?

  • CavArms Tourniquet

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT)

    Votes: 10 34.5%
  • Mechanical Advantage Tourniquet (MAT)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Rapid Application Tourniquet (RAT)

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Racheting Medical Touniquet (RMT)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • SOF Tactical Tourniquet (SOFT-T)

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • Stretch Wrap And Tuck Tourniquet (SWAT-T)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tourni-Kwik-4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 6.9%

  • Total voters
    29

104TN

Verified Military
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#1
What tourniquet(s) do you use and why?

I've got several Rapid Application Tourniquets I keep in my home, range bag, and vehicles.

While I didn't do much research before making my purchase, the short videos I watched prior to pulling the trigger made the RATS appear easy to apply, a retailer I frequent carries them which I took as an endorsement of sorts, and I got a good deal which allowed me to buy enough to have a bunch handy.
 

Muppet

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#2
When I was in Division, in the 90's, TQ's were still considered "last resort". There were Ranger ratchet's floating around but not used much. Now, first as a SWAT medic, I have used SOFT-T and CAT's. As a street medic, I am issued SOFT-T for the first in jump bags / active shooter bags on each MICU we have in station. I went to SWAT medic school, ran around like a fucking maniac with both I mentioned, used both and liked the SOFT. Seems, that the velcro got nasty and did not like to work with blood and mud but again, I have used SOFT in real world issues, have not used CAT and have not been in shit holes where I needed to drag a brother over 100m of A-stan ground. Take that for what it's worth.

From some dudes I talk to, been GWOT, took a TCCC course from a group, traveled to P.A. from Canada called "Teir 1", some special dudes including a U.S. SEAL, they say, CAT'S used for arms, SOFT used for legs. I don't know. I don't trust TQ's that depend on pneumatic or wraps.

M.
 

policemedic

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#3
I carry two SOFT-T Wides on my person when I'm working. My bag has several more. I prefer them over the CATs, although the CATs are a bit easier to self-apply to an arm (at least for me). That said, I've carried and used both, and they both work.

We do also deploy the SWAT-Ts because they came with the bleeding control bags we bought from Z-Medica. It would have cost us more to susbtitute real TQs, so it was a compromise. The SWAT-Ts can be useful but I don't rely on them to act as a real TQ.

There are studies on the efficacy of specific TQs, and they are well worth reading.
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
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#4
I've used CAT, SOFT, and Ratchet's. I like the SOFT over the CAT, just better built. The ratchet style one seemed to work the best, but for the life of me I cannot remember the brand name (OD green with a red ratchet handle) I'd like to buy a few of them. I currently keep a SOFT in my truck bag, another in my IFAK, and I have a handful of CAT's floating around my other possibles bags.
 

Etype

Special Forces
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#5
SOFT-T for durability and ease of use.

I've used the SWAT-Ts for wrapping sore muscles and joints, they are great for that if you have them laying around.
 

AKkeith

Killin It
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#6
I like the SOFTT Wide. I don't like the stupid screw on the original SOFTT. Its another step that people forget and its a very crucial. After teaching people on that tourniquet I feel like a broken record. The SOFTT Wide has the easy D ring to clip on and go. No velcro sticking to itself, no screw, comes apart easy to wrap around a limp if you need to.
 

x SF med

the Troll
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#7
Whatever gets the job done to save the patient.

Not being snide, just realistic. I've used belts, CATs and SOF-T, torn uniforms and sticks... whatever it takes, placement and width of the constricting band are the keys... sometimes you even have to place a rock under the TQ at a pressure point to get the major arteries to close...

I currently have a few CATs in range bags and GFOD bags, gifts from friends.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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#9
Whatever gets the job done to save the patient.

Not being snide, just realistic. I've used belts, CATs and SOF-T, torn uniforms and sticks... whatever it takes, placement and width of the constricting band are the keys... sometimes you even have to place a rock under the TQ at a pressure point to get the major arteries to close...

I currently have a few CATs in range bags and GFOD bags, gifts from friends.
Had an old school SF medic teach me to take gatoraid bottle cap seal rings and thread a cravat through them. When you cranked down your stick or whatever, instead of tying it down with the ends of the cravat, you slide the seal rings over the stick on each side. Works damn good and it doesn't come loose.

He was a firm believer in use whatever the hell you have available and use it smartly. Your mentioning of the rock to pinch off an artery reminded me of him, as he had stated the same as well.

MSGT Salazar, I believe he was a team daddy out of 20th SFG 2005-06'ish.
 

Ocoka

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#10
I used a sling and twisted the rifle around because I didn't know what else to use. This was an ARVN who hit a pressure device that pretty much took off his right foot. I wrapped the sling below his knee and just started twisting the rifle and the sling tightened up. Our corpsman was with our Alpha unit about a klick away, but en route. It seemed the most expedient thing to do. It worked but I had to keep holding the rifle so it stayed tight. When Doc got there he put his own on so the rifle didn't get medevaced with the patient.
 
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Etype

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#11
I used a sling and twisted the rifle around because I didn't know what else to use. This was an ARVN guy who hit a pressure device that pretty much took off his right foot. I wrapped the sling below his knee and just started twisting the rifle and the sling tightened up. Our corpsman was with our Alpha unit about a klick away. It seemed the most expedient thing to do...and thankfully, it was the only time I had to do it.
Unfortunately, quite a few of those 58,000+ Americans would still be with us today if they had commercially produced tourniquets.

Luckily, we learned from the lesson.
 

Ocoka

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#12
I got a lesson in tourniquets after that...I couldn't claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed at 19. I suppose I could have come up with 5 or 6 better ways to do it if I'd had time to think about it, just from my boy scout days.
 

Etype

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#13
I got a lesson in tourniquets after that...I couldn't claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed at 19. I suppose I could have come up with 5 or 6 better ways to do it if I'd had time to think about it, just from my boy scout days.
What we are taught these days, is that tourniquets weren't the norm in the Vietnam era. Just out of curiosity, what did they teach for extremity bleeding?

When I first came in the Army, they still taught pressure dressings and elevation. Within a year the first treatment of choice switched to tourniquets and it's remained the same for the last 12 years.
 

Ocoka

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#14
What we are taught these days, is that tourniquets weren't the norm in the Vietnam era. Just out of curiosity, what did they teach for extremity bleeding?

When I first came in the Army, they still taught pressure dressings and elevation. Within a year the first treatment of choice switched to tourniquets and it's remained the same for the last 12 years.
Our first aid training was basic at best. I don't think we had more than 4-hours of classes in total during infantry training. I remember being taught about sucking chest wounds; shock; tourniquets for amputations or wounds in the legs and arms where a major artery was involved; how to get an IV needle in for plasma; and the rest was "wrap a battle dressing around it and keep fighting."

Luckily we had proactive Corpsmen in our Combined Action company who made sure we had more than the basics.
 
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Etype

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#15
Luckily we had proactive Corpsmen in our Combined Action company who made sure we had more than the basics.
It's about the same these days.

When I was in the 82nd, the Combat Lifesaver Course is taught by medics with the POI set by the batallion PA.

On ODAs, it's up to the medics to teach whatever they feel is necessary.

Luckily, most medics realize it will be the guys they teach who will be responsible for saving their lives should they get hurt.
 

amlove21

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#18
I carry 2 CATs (one on my chest, one in the bottom pocket of my pants) and 2 SOFTW's (same configuration).

Typically the SOFT's work a little better on legs than the CAT's do, but I'll echo what everyone else here has already said- use what you need to, it's the technique and theory, not the specific brand of equipment.
 

104TN

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#19
Thanks guys. For those of you that have used CATs, any concern over them breaking? In reading some of the COTCCC minutes it "seems" like the CAT is the defacto standard, but it was noted something like 1/10 broke when applied...which seems high.

Aside from my own post (which I'll discount because I admittedly didn't make an informed decision), I only see two references to elastic-type TQs and neither suggested them for use as a primary tourniquet. Is it safe to say you guys feel that elastic TQs like the SWAT-T and RAT are less effective than more traditional windlass-based options, or am I reading between the lines too much here?
 

Diamondback 2/2

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#20
Thanks guys. For those of you that have used CATs, any concern over them breaking? In reading some of the COTCCC minutes it "seems" like the CAT is the defacto standard, but it was noted something like 1/10 broke when applied...which seems high.

Aside from my own post (which I'll discount because I admittedly didn't make an informed decision), I only see two references to elastic-type TQs and neither suggested them for use as a primary tourniquet. Is it safe to say you guys feel that elastic TQs like the SWAT-T and RAT are less effective than more traditional windlass-based options, or am I reading between the lines too much here?
The CAT's that were breaking were old ones that had been weathered on peoples gear. The plastic handles were snapping when cranked down on. It was being discussed back around 07-08 about the time the new ones came out.
 
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