Emergency Preparedness: The Combat Application Tourniquet

The motto of the boy scouts is  'be prepared.'  It definitely applies to the combat application tourniquet. Soldiers and SWAT team personnel in particular, definitely need one when they prepare for battle. The layman can also take a leaf from the boy scouts’ book and keep one at all times. 

When Should a Tourniquet Be Used?

Tourniquets should only be used when it is clear that you cannot stop the bleeding of an injured limb by using direct pressure alone. Heavy and uncontrollable bleeding can easily cause death within minutes of an injury. This is why it is absolutely essential to act as quickly as possible whenever a life-threatening traumatic wound is concerned.

The tourniquet you use can literally mean the difference between life and death. Here, the North American Cat (combat application tourniquet) is just the thing for such emergencies.  It has been proven to be extremely effective (up to a hundred percent efficacy) by the American Army-run Institute of Surgical Research (ISR).

Various tests have conclusively proven that the North American CAT successfully occluded blood flow of the injured extremity. This means that in case there is a traumatic wound, you can use the CAT to block the blood flow and prevent loss of life due to excessive bleeding.

How Does It Work?

The North American Rescue CAT works by utilizing an extremely rugged and durable windlass system. You can operate it with the help of a patented internal free-moving band that provides true and rapid circumferential pressure to the injured extremity. After you have tightened it adequately enough, it will ensure that bleeding will cease, provided that the windlass is locked into place.

Once that happens you will have to apply a loop and hook windlass retention strap. This will secure the windlass in order to maintain the required pressure during casualty evacuation. This dual securing system is unique to the CAT and it avoids the use of clips and screws that can take a lot of time to operate when seconds count. Moreover, the more complicated the mechanism, the more difficult it would be to operate under extreme survival stress, especially when fine motor skills might be compromised.

The patented rescue CAT features a proprietary red tip design. Its band-within-a-band design has the mechanical advantage of being extremely reliable regardless of combat conditions. This is why it has been the Official Tourniquet of the United States Army' since 2005.

Why Choose the North American Rescue CAT?

This tourniquet has been recommended by the Committee on TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) and has been designed so as to perform flawlessly in all weather conditions. It is also a very small and cost-effective system that can fit inside any kit bag. Its open length is only 37.5 inches, while its total weight is a mere 2.7 ounces.


The North American Rescue CAT is an absolutely amazing tourniquet. One that has adequately proven itself many times over in high-risk situations. This device can easily spell the difference between life and death in any untoward situation.

It is a great idea to keep one in your home, car, or even as an EDC so you will have it nearby in case you need it.