Instructor Preparation - Online Blended Part 1

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Types of Tourniquets

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Exploring a Selection of Commercial Tourniquets

When it comes to tourniquets, there is a vast range of brands available on the market. This article will provide insights into some of the most popular commercial tourniquets in use today.

The Rapid Stop Tourniquet

The Rapid Stop is a premium tourniquet, renowned for its ratchet system operation. Users tighten it around the limb and adjust it by simply lifting and lowering the ratchet, making it one of the quickest and easiest tourniquets to use. It comes in three colours: orange, black, and blue, each serving different purposes.

  • Orange: Typically used by first responders as it's easily visible.
  • Black: Commonly used in military settings where visibility isn't desirable.
  • Blue: Designated for training purposes.

It's important to remember that the colour is merely an identifier and doesn't impact the tourniquet's functionality.

The CAT Tourniquet

The CAT tourniquet is another common choice for both first aid kits and military use. It employs a windlass that needs to be turned 180 degrees for application. This tourniquet is available in black and orange, and a training version can also be procured.

The Soft T Tourniquet

The Soft T tourniquet, widely used and favoured by some military units, is quite similar to the CAT. However, it has a metal windlass instead of plastic.

The Code Red Tourniquet

The Code Red tourniquet mirrors the CAT tourniquet's design but is larger, with a metal area where the windlass hooks back into. It's simple and easy to use.

The Tourni-Key Tourniquet

The Tourni-Key stands apart as a low-priced and simple-to-use tourniquet. Although categorised more as an improvised tourniquet, it's a commercial product that can easily be added to any first aid kit. While it's not a single piece like the others, it is incredibly compact and a fraction of the price.

Choosing Your Tourniquet

When selecting a tourniquet, it's crucial to ensure it has the appropriate CE marks and approvals. Beware of cheap imitations, particularly of the CAT tourniquets, which may be weak and not licensed for use in medical emergencies.


There's a multitude of tourniquet brands in the market, each with its unique attributes. The ones outlined here represent a cross-section of the most popular choices. However, regardless of brand, ensuring your chosen tourniquet is of high quality and licensed for use is paramount.