TOURNIQUETS APPROVED BY THE CoTCCC
Tourniquets to control bleeding has been in use for centuries, sometimes praised and sometimes reviled as a tool of the devil. Painful lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, however, lead us to believe that they save lives that would otherwise be lost to hemorrhage. In civilian life, the rapid and effective use of a tourniquet by those at the scene gives valuable time for emergency medical personnel to arrive. In survival settings, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know having tourniquets in your medical kit is not a bad idea.
For years, the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) has approved a small number of commercially available tourniquets, which I’m sure many of you have in your medical kits: They include the combat application tourniquet or CAT and the special operation forces tourniquet SOF-T.
These are the tourniquets you’ll find in our medical kits. We also add the non-TCCC SWAT tourniquet as a secondary tourniquet in many of them, mostly due to its versatility to also function as a pressure dressing and splint stabilizer.
Now, the TCCC committee has widened the range of options acceptable for the effective control of bleeding. One of their additions is the SAM-XT (pictured at top of page), produced by the venerable Dr. Sam Scheinberg of SAM medical. SAM is well-known for producing malleable splints useful for a number of orthopedic injuries, and now their tourniquet is considered acceptable for even military use.
Look for our video released around the same time as this one to see Nurse Amy demonstrate the SAM XT on a dummy (a very old dummy).
The SAM-XT wasn’t the only addition to the medical woodshed for the committee on tactical combat casualty care. Here’s the official list:
Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T) both the current Gen 7 and the older Gen 6 (pictured ealier)
SOF Tactical Tourniquet – Wide (SOFTT-W)
Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet -Tactical (RMT-T)
Tactical Mechanical Tourniquet (TMT)
TX2” Tourniquet (TX2) and TX3” Tourniquet (TX3)
There are also tourniquets that are inflatable or pneumatic in nature, and the TCCC approves of the Delfi EMT and the TPT2. For specialized tourniquets in junctional areas like the armpit and groin, the Combat Ready Clamp (CRoC), SAM Junctional Tourniquet (SAM-JT), and Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT). Gotta love those acronyms!
Look for future videos from us in the near future demonstrating the use of some of the newly approved items. In the meantime, we’ll be adding the SAM XT tourniquet to our product line at store.doomandbloom.net.
Keep in mind that just because a tourniquet is accepted by the TC3, it doesn’t mean that it would be effective in the hands of an untrained individual. For the military, that training is part of the deal, but for civilians, it still makes the most sense to use the tourniquet that you’re most used to. So if that’s the CAT or the SOFT-T for you, don’t feel like you need to run out and buy these other ones. The bottom line, if you can’t use it rapidly, effectively, and safely, it’s not going to do much good in your medical bag.
Joe Alton MD
Find out more about stopping hemorrhage and 150 other medical issues in the award-winning Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. Plus, check out all our books, DVDs, supplies, and medical kits at store.doomandbloom.net!