TQ Use (How to save a life)

Your out with some friends, in the bush/ backyard/on the mountain bike trail, behind you your mate screams and you turn around to see him holding a hand to his wrist, pressurised blood managing to makes its way around his clamped down palm. In the past, I would have improvised, made a solution out of whatever was easily available. But now for a relatively cheap outlay (less that $60 for a top of the line setup) I have some proper equipment. This scenario isn’t all that common, but to those of us who enjoy venturing far away from human habitation we recognise its a game ender. Often in prehospital work we say we’re nothing without our kit. While I can perform CPR and basic patient assessment with my hands. As the cautious prepared gent that I am I like to have some equipment handy should a situation arise.

There are various designs of Tourniquet out there.  I’m not here to say that one is better than the other. But if your looking for the best, the SOFTT-W is hard to beat, I have about 4 or 5 rattling around bags, cars and my fiancés handbag.

They have been proven again and again in numerous trials that show without a doubt that stopping severe extremity bleeding early can only be advantageous. Leading to the placement of arresting life threatening hemorrhage above all else as the initial responsibilities of prehospital providers. This also goes for the outdoors and every day life. For 30 dollars you can get a pressure bandage and a SWAT Tourniquet which could be the tools you need at some point. Why improvise when the proper kit is available for two lunches at a hospital café!


The SOFTT-W (SOF Tactical Tourniquet Wide) is to my mind the best available. I own about 4 of them scattered throughout various equipment setups. The metal windlass and thick straps make for easy application, the D ring clip is secure and with some slight modifications the Tourniquet can be made thinner for packing away.
Credit to ITS Tactical for the Video.
The SOFTT-W if purchasing it out of your own pocket is quite on par with the cost of most other devices and for that money you get a better device less likely to fail. It is currently the top recommended device for TCCC.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJEKD_exUkA video from the manufacture Tac Med solutions.


CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzXNsfesUb0 Manufactures video advising on use.

One of the original Tourniquets initially adopted for widespread used in the US Military after the need for more formalized TCCC was recognized in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Issue has been drawn with the Plastic Windlass bar snapping on lower limbs due to the tension required to successfully occlude femoral flow.  Its important to note that that their have been various issues with inferior quality CAT’s making their way onto the market for the purpose of Re-enactment and these are not intended to be used as medical devices. Try and ensure your buying from reputable dealers of medical supplies.

The MAT (Mechanical Application Tourniquet) My least favourite device. Don’t spend your money on it. The housing in bulky, the release is far to easy to trigger, there’s a reason this thing got a solid not recommended rating from the TCCC Committee.


wpid-20150927_150626.jpg These two find their way into my pockets when I feel I’m doing something that may require them.  A CAT Tourniquet and a OLAES 6inch bandage.

This is my super compact trauma kit, no larger than a Phone its got a perminate place in my trail running pack. A Sling, and elastic bandage, A SWAT-T Torniquet and a Quickclot sponge is enough to get me or someone else out of trouble without having to carry a firstaid pack. This augments a Boo Boo kit for scrapes, blisters and minor wounds.wpid-20150927_150721.jpg

All packed up and ready to go!

If your Still not convinced have a look;




Naimer, S. (2014) A Review of Methods to Control Bleeding from Life-Threatening Traumatic Wounds. Health, 6, 479-490. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.66067.

A ChestersI Roberts and T Harris; Minimising blood loss in early trauma resuscitationTrauma January 2014 16: 2736, first published on October 1, 2013 doi:10.1177/1460408613504066


About jrparameddscot

Paramedic in NSW, University Grad Paramedic, Currently undertaking a year as a trainee, Learning and sharing, Interested in Human Factors and Headlamps. I don't represent any organisations and hold no affiliation with any commercial entity's, don't take entries or posts as clinical advise #FOAMed#FOAM#FOAMems

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: