COMBAT APPLICATION TOURNIQUET (C-A-T)
There have been many discussions over the years about the application of a tourniquet. For years it was taught as the last resort because it basically meant losing a limb to save a life.
Modern first aid wisdom and instruction is the exact opposite. If you encounter an arterial wound, a tourniquet should be immediately employed to save the individual (yourself included). A tourniquet can be a simple t-shirt twisted by a wrench. However, this is not ideal. Ideally, your IFAK should include a modern, engineered, tourniquet that is a minimum of 1.5” wide, has an included lever, and opens/adjusts such that you can position it correctly as close to the proximal side of the injury as possible. It should also include a space/utility to document the time applied as this is important information to medical personnel. This device can absolutely save your life and can be employed for a long period of time contrary to old-school thinking. Upon purchasing a tourniquet, it is important to always test its breaking point as this tool is a lifesaving item, you want to make sure the lever doesn’t break easily when being tightened. Tourniquets are also great for your EDC (everyday carry) they are proven to save more lives than handguns.
We strongly recommend writing a time when the tourniquet was applied and if a tourniquet is covered by a thermal blanket right a “T” mark on the forehead of your casualties.