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Those of you who have been downrange will no doubt know what I am talking about. The ADF (and I understand the US.mil) use the Combat Application Tourniquet. Look it up, you'll find it easy to locate.

anatomy.jpg

The medical training in-theatre I received in 2010 was 1st class and delivered by veteran medics from the US Army. Part of that was using the CAT. All battle wounds can (and are) divided in to those that no amount of help can save, those that will survive without any help from others and those who will die but it is feasible they can be saved. Of that 3rd category, a large percentage were saved by the simple application of the CAT and rapid evacuation. The old view of the tourniquet being the last resort has been firmly moved away from. If you cannot quickly stop the bleeding with a conventional dressing, a tourniquet is probably your next option. Hand in hand with that, research now shows the fears of a tourniquet 'killing' limbs in short timeframes are not justified - some people have made it back alive with a CAT on after several hours AND their limb was saved. Not recommended of course, but it can be done.

So if you don't have one of these and are familiar with how to use it...why not? They're cheap and I just realised I didn't have a couple for my house and am kicking myself. I am on the interwebs tonight to rectify that.

You never know, it might save a life of someone you give a s**t about.

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Agreed, Joe. The tourniquet, however, is only one tool in the box. Currently looking up other stuff like this to stop bleeding.

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True. In all other respects my med kit at home is pretty reasonable. But my jaw dropped when it dawned on me that I didn't have a CAT for the home med kit and one for my 'day bag'. They're small, cheap, easy to store and re-usable. I spent 5 minutes slapping myself.

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True. In all other respects my med kit at home is pretty reasonable. But my jaw dropped when it dawned on me that I didn't have a CAT for the home med kit and one for my 'day bag'. They're small, cheap, easy to store and re-usable. I spent 5 minutes slapping myself.

You're not the only one...after stocking and pre-positioning a complete emergency medical kit at a bug out rally point and an expedient kit in each car I had to slap myself for not having band-aids in the house.

Sometimes we see the trees and not the forest- and sometimes we're so worried about the forest catching fire that we forget that a single tree can fall and ruin all our plans just as easily as the forest fire.

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here in upper michigan they sell this stuff called quik-clot i also keep ducktape a spool of nylon fishing line with needle and a bottle of clear fingernail polish too in my first aid kit. call me what you want but i am still alive today because of some old wives tales and militarey vets from the south. and btw yes i would use my belt as a tourniquet if that was the only option left.

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I have a few of those tourniquets lying around in different places. They told us a limb could go up to 8 hours (I believe, can't remember the exact amount) before dying. We practiced putting them on eachother, on ourselves, and even how to re-wrap it so it could be opened with one hand if need be. That came in handy for one guy in afghanistan.

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Chim, they told us 6 hours...but the point remains it can stay for a good deal of time.

One story they had was of an Aussie section commander (In US-speak a 'squad leader') who was in his first week of his deployment and got hit with an 7.62 x 39mm round through the thigh. Smashed his femur, arterial bleed. He self applied his CAT and lay in position for 20 mins providing cover fire while the guys fought to recover him, which they did. Several rounds of surgery later he might not be the world's best ballroom dancer....but otherwise he's fine.

Edit: Forgot to add: these US Army medics knew the whole story cause this kid had made the effort to find out the right mailing address and send them a letter. He thanked them for teaching him how to self-apply and it was good they did, cause ten days later he was doing it for real.

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The way I was taught back in the day to use tourniquet's was to intermittently let blood flow to prevent limb death.

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So would it be better to use a hand-tightened tourniquet as opposed to a mechanical ratchet?

I hear some say either, and others say only use the hand tightened tourniquet but in the end does that really make much of a difference?

I have one of the SOF (brand?) tourniquets that Joe posted a picture of, but I also have several MAT (Mechanical Advantage Tourniquets) in the house that I haven't assembled kits for yet.

http://www.chinookmed.com/cgi-bin/item/01282/s-tourniquets/-MAT-Tourniquet---------------------------------

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Yahoshua, have you tried that one out on yourself? Anything you can tell us about it?

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It's been awhile since I played with it, I'll take it out tonight and let you know in the morning.

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- Techniques to Avoid Tourniquet Complications:

- consider cooling the extremity (local hypothermia);

- consider two tourniquets, juxta-posed and alternating their inflation on hourly intervals (thought to lessen direct pressure over ischemic muscles and nerves);

- padding is used beneath the tourniquet to distribute the pressure more evenly in the arm and to avoid pinching the skin;

- Factors Related to Extremity Injury:

- duration of use;

- use of tourniquet for > 2 hours & pressures of > 350 mm of mercury in lower extremity and 250 mm of mercury in upper extremity increases risk of compression neurapraxia;

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So would it be better to use a hand-tightened tourniquet as opposed to a mechanical ratchet?

I hear some say either, and others say only use the hand tightened tourniquet but in the end does that really make much of a difference?

I have one of the SOF (brand?) tourniquets that Joe posted a picture of, but I also have several MAT (Mechanical Advantage Tourniquets) in the house that I haven't assembled kits for yet.

http://www.chinookmed.com/cgi-bin/item/01282/s-tourniquets/-MAT-Tourniquet---------------------------------

I would only use the simple hand-tightened tourniquet I know they work.

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- Techniques to Avoid Tourniquet Complications:

- consider cooling the extremity (local hypothermia);

- consider two tourniquets, juxta-posed and alternating their inflation on hourly intervals (thought to lessen direct pressure over ischemic muscles and nerves);

- padding is used beneath the tourniquet to distribute the pressure more evenly in the arm and to avoid pinching the skin;

- Factors Related to Extremity Injury:

- duration of use;

- use of tourniquet for > 2 hours & pressures of > 350 mm of mercury in lower extremity and 250 mm of mercury in upper extremity increases risk of compression neurapraxia;

Good advice, I would add- never use wire or cord as a tourny...

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Two CATs arrived in the mail last night. One is now rubber banded up, sitting in the top of my 'day' bag. The other is in it's plastic wrapper in my SHTF Box.

I spent 10 minutes practicising with it to be sure I hadn't forgotten how to use it. Then I spent another 10, showing Mrs Joe.

Happier now.

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