The Combat Application Tourniquet (C.A.T), is one of the most commonly utilized systems around. The CAT Tourniquet is officially endorsed by the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
All materials are made and manufactured in the United States. Due to its compact size weighing in at 2.9 ounces it is a practical tourniquet that can fit into any pocket or bag when wrapped up, when fully extended and in use the C.A.T. measures 37.5 inches.
With practice the C.A.T. system on average, can be used within 28 seconds on your own leg, and within 12 seconds one-handed on your own arm, and even less when providing life saving measures to someone around you.
How To Use The Combat Action Tourniquet
When applying the C.A.T. there are two different methods one can choose, single hand and dual hand. The difference between single, and dual hand being whether you put the strap through one or two of gates on the tourniquet’s buckle. Since the strap has been covered in hermaphroditic hook/loop, the single handed method of directing it through only one gate allows you to pull the strap out and away from your body pulling out all the slack before you stick the strap to itself. With the two-handed method, you can hold the tourniquet in place with one hand while the other pulls the strap up and away to take out the slack. If you try to create a hybrid of the two methods the end results will be unsatisfying.
Watch Out For Fakes
When buying one of the CAT’s buyers need to be aware that there are many forms of counterfeit tourniquets that look exactly like the original are also out there. However these knock offs are advertised for less money and utilize different materials. These cheaply made versions can be found on what many consumers would expect to be trusted, sites like eBay and amazon. Due to a multitude of cases like this the company who made the C.A.T. (North American Rescue) has produced the new GEN7 in a proactive attempt to combat plagiarism of the product. The new GEN7 is easier to use thanks to a single application protocol, single buckle routing system and further improvements to its components and construction. These simple improvements make the C.A.T. system one of the most commonly used and purchased systems around.
Now with the two different methods comes some downfalls. There are some reports that provide the opinion that if the C.A.T. is used on a lower extremity injury in the one-handed formation the hook/loop strap can loosen during transport and movement thus restarting the flow of blood. Obviously, with blood flow restriction being a requirement to do its job this is never a good thing, blood flow restarting at any stage of injury can result in death. Is that going to happen in a clear majority of cases? No, probably not, however when it comes to a life saving device its imperative it be noted and understood before one decides to employ the product for personal use.