In a medical emergency, seconds count, especially in cases of extreme bleeding from a leg or arm injury. When direct pressure or other measures can’t stop the bleeding, a tourniquet might be the item you need.
When properly used, a tourniquet can be the difference between life and death. No medical kit should be without one.
AR500 Armor carries three different tourniquets:
- CAT Tourniquet by North American Rescue
- SOF-T Tourniquet by Tactical Medical Solutions
- SWAT-T by H&H Medical
Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T®)
Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T) by North American Rescue is widely used by both civilian and military medical personnel. With a 1.5” wide velcro-covered strap, the CAT excels in single-handed use when compared to other tourniquets.
The windlass system is constructed with a polymer handle which helps reduce weight, and tightens down the patented free-moving internal band. It is compact, lightweight, and weighs less than 3 ounces. It’s single routing buckle helps with fast application, effective slack removal (which means fewer windlass turns), and simplified training.
SOF® Tourniquet (SOF-T)
The SOF Tourniquet by Tactical Medical Solutions has also been widely adopted by civilian and military medical personnel.
The SOF-T is also 1.5" wide, can also be applied one-handed, and has an aluminum windlass. The SOF Tourniquet also features a locking, quick connect buckle that allows rerouting around limbs without the need to re-thread the strap.
SWAT Tourniquet (SWAT-T™)
The SWAT (Stretch, Wrap And Tuck) Tourniquet by H&H Medical is a compact rubber bandage that can be used as a tourniquet, pressure dressing, or elastic bandage, making it a versatile and lightweight addition to your medical kit.
The SWAT-T features a visual diagram with instructions on the bandage itself. This diagram acts as a tension reference guide to let you know when the bandage is creating enough pressure to perform as a tourniquet or a pressure dressing.
The SWAT-T is 5.5” inches wide, giving it the ability to use as a sling, ace bandage, or hold ice or dressings. The SWAT-T weighs only 4 ounces and is only about the size of an index card in its original packing.
Tourniquets aren't of any use if you can't access them quickly. Having your tourniquet ready to deploy is critical.
AR500 Armor has two ways of storing your tourniquet for secure and easy access.
Our tourniquet holder is designed to place your tourniquet in an easily accessible area such as the edge or bottom of your plate carrier cummerbund, the opening of a chest or kangaroo pocket, or in the outer sleeve of a battle belt.
Simply find a location with sufficient Velcro to securely hold the base, then put the tourniquet into the elastic retention loop. Your tourniquet is ready to go. You can even mount it in the bottom opening of your carrier’s plate pocket...if there is a Velcro closed seam, you have a place to mount the tourniquet holder.
Our latest tourniquet pouch is designed to hold the most commonly available tourniquets on the market.
Made of 500 Denier Cordura nylon, our latest tourniquet pouch is MOLLE-compatible and has a slot to mount the pouch on your belt.
The tourniquet pouch features a quick-extract feature allowing for rapid, one-handed deployment of the tourniquet.
Simply pull on the tab, and the tourniquet is extracted via a strip of webbing that cradles the tourniquet when it's in the pouch. Our previous tourniquet pouch enabled quick access via an expanding, elasticized pouch body.
A tourniquet won’t do you any good if you don't know how to use it. Whichever tourniquet you decide on, make sure you get training on how to use it:
- North American Rescue has a video for using the C-A-T
- Tactical Medical Solutions has a page for the SOF-T
- H&H Medical has a page for the SWAT-T
Whichever tourniquet you get, practice with it. Better, get two and use one for training. We at AR500 Armor highly recommend getting training on emergency medical care, including the use of tourniquets for bleeding control.
The life you save may be your own.