The quick and timely application of a tourniquet has saved many lives and all good medics ensure their gear is ready to go. Cutting down on steps and thinking ahead helps a bad situation go a little more smoothly. And every little bit counts.
Maybe you learned this lesson the hard way, or maybe you prefer to just listen to those of us who did.
Either way, setting up your TQ is a great idea and here are some things that will make your life easier:
First, make sure to take that brand new tourniquet out of the neat little plastic packaging. I know you want to keep it looking pristine, but there are no dress inspections planned, so go ahead. Plus, properly staged trauma gear is sexy.
The packaging quickly becomes difficult to get through in that moment you are bleeding heavily and only have one hand. Cut that step out completely and get the TQ staged with enough slack in the strap to get it around your thigh. So you don’t have to adjust in the moment and application is more efficient.
If you have a CAT, make sure the windlass-retaining-strap allows the windlass to move freely so you aren’t fiddling with it while you bleed out.
Our trauma kits come with the tourniquets already inside, but an external carrier frees up space inside your kit for more pressure dressings or wound packing. The hard case Tourniquet Holder attaches the Combat Application Tourniquet to your belt, chest rig, or anywhere else with MOLLE or a strap.
The design of the case keeps the CAT firmly in place with friction but allows it to pull free for application. It comes in two colors, black and tan, for those of you who are going for a copacetic look with your gear.
This option helps you keep two essential items, trauma shears and a TQ, close together. I like to use this method for staging a TQ on my combat medic chest rig so I can keep a pair of shears ready to go, and a spare TQ if I run out of the ones on my belt.
This is also a great way to keep your TQ and trauma shears on the outside of your trauma kit. This increased visibility might be handy if a Good Samaritan is using your kit to save you.
The added benefit of this case is that more of the TQ is covered and protected from UV light from the sun that will degrade the TQ material over time.
SOF-T Wide Carriers
If your preferred TQ is the SOF-T Wide, you will have fewer options out there for carrying yours then you would with the CAT. But here are some that might be what you’re looking for:
This is one of the simpler types out there and variations of this design are everywhere. This type is the least protective for your TQ so keep that in mind for gear that will be in the sun often and for long periods of time.
According to the Phlster website:
“The Flatpack is the most versatile and lowest-profile tourniquet carrier available, and it eliminates any and all excuses for not having a vital and life-saving tourniquet on-body.”
Available in all the usual combat colors of green, tan, black and multicam, this pouch fully encloses your TQ to protect it from the sunlight. The TacMed Solutions page says the pouch is,
“… similar to a standard flash bang pouch. It’s designed to store a single SOF® Tourniquet. The case is compact, one-hand accessible, and MOLLE compatible so it is ideal for storage on a larger kit or on-person carry equipment.”