Recently I published several videos on my Youtube site talking about Tourniquets. I wanted to do a write up on the four most popular, or at least the four I recommend most, to have a more in depth view of them.
This Tourniquet is by far one of the most stout in construction. It also has an extra option not available on other tourniquets. It boasts an aluminium windlass that has a very tactile surface, which is great when you are dealing with slippery blood all over the place. Flanking either side of the windlass are two triangle buckles so that you can secure the windlass on either side. The quick release buckle is either brilliant or stupid, I haven’t decided yet. The nice part of course is that you can quickly release the SOFT if you need to for some reason. The downfall of course is that you must screw it down after applying the SOFT if you don’t want it to suddenly fly off accidentally losing precious blood that you need inside you, and not squirting out all over the road. Personally the SOFT is my favorite tourniquet. The price tag comes in at 26.78 (from tacmedsolutions.com), 35.18 with a case. There is also a “wide SOFT option that comes in at 29.93, 42.53 with a case (from tacmedsolutions.com as well). The SOFT comes in black, blue for training, and orange for rescue. The cases come in Coyote, Black, and OD green.
I like the CAT and it would always be my second choice, after the SOFT. It offers similar but different capabilities to the SOFT. The biggest difference obviously being the bright white tag, you can write the time on and the red tip of the strap. The securing method for the windlass (both plastic) is a kind of C that has the white time tag that stretches over the top with hook and loop. Hook and loop is also on the tourniquet itself in place of the buckle style of securing the strap on the limb like the SOFT. The windlass is works perfectly fine but could use a stipling job in my opinion. I mean we are talking about massive amounts of blood squirting out all over the place, I’d like something that I know my fingers won’t be slipping off when my life is quickly draining out of me. CATs are also available in black, orange, and blue. The come in at 29.99 (narescue.com), you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere, but be warned, THERE ARE FORGERIES. You don’t want inferior Chinese plastic giving out on you when you or your buddy really need your gear to come through for you.
The TK-4L is a serious savings from the two tourniquets mentioned above. The TK-4L is exactly the same as the TK-4 but has a little bit different securing hook on one end. Personally the TK-4L is worth the few bucks more than the tk-4 in my opinion. Once again we are talking about a piece of gear that could mean life or death. This piece of kit operates very different than the SOFTT or the CAT. This doesn’t mean it won’t work, but it does mean it will be more difficult to employ on yourself or one handed. This can be overcome by training with the gear, but most people use the TK-4L as a back up or extra tourniquet, and it serves that purpose well. Coming in at 10.00 bucks (from warrior woundcare.com) it’s a deal. If you want to save a few bucks, you can pick up the TK-4 for 6.00 (also from warriorwoundcare.com)
The SWAT-T (Stretch Wrap And Tuck Tourniquet) is a very versatile piece of kit. Basically a bike tire materiel, with obviously improved rubber, this thing has as many uses as you can think of. Personally I carry a few SWATs around with my other kit just for the fact that is has so many other uses. With the absence of any buckles or hooks this is a piece of kit can be used as part of a splint, part of a sling, the sling itself, a pressure bandage, the top of a pressure bandage, etc. Again, like the TK-4L it needs training to be used as a tourniquet. One handed or using on yourself is difficult and not recommended as your primary tourniquet. Bottom line it’s a must have piece of kit. Coming in at 9.68 (from Chinookmed.com) you can’t beat the price for this versitile piece of kit.
Once again, when you see your hopes and dreams squirting out of your multicam pants, that you just had to have, you are going to wish you have a good tourniquet if you don’t have one. Some gear you can skimp on and just have an uncomfortable night, but not your medical gear. Trust me when I say your ol lady would rather have you back missing a leg than not have you back at all.
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