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Tourniquets CAT-T vs SOF-TW

Discussion in 'First Aid Station' started by Weko, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Weko

    Weko Loaded Pockets

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    for those with experience using them, what are the pros and cons of the CAT-T vs the SOF-TW. Second question, what version as the CAT is up to version 7 and the SOF is up to version 4.
     
  2. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

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    I doubt either device has any significant clinical efficacy over the other, however, the general shape and design of the CAT makes carrying far less practical than a flat folded SOF. I have three SOFs and two RATS for supplementary measures.
     
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  3. maillet282

    maillet282 Loaded Pockets

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    IMHO the SOF-TW is a bit harder in a one handed application. ( you applying it to your own arm) compared to the CAT. but the solid aluminium windlass bar on the SOF-TW wins it for me. I've ended up snapping a couple windlass bars on the cats over the years ( gen 4-5-6 and 7). ( I am a military medic that has been deployed to Afghanistan and train with these items on a regular basis)

    both are COTCCC approved and you really can't go wrong with choosing either. only thing is proper storage and having a dedicated training TQ and not using the same training TQ for real life stop the bleed application.
     
  4. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    Both TQs are very effective, but they do have some definite differences.
    - The CAT is easier for one handed application. The way the buckle is makes the CAT easier to initially pull tighter which means fewer windlass turns are required. The CAT windlass secures in the bracket easier than the SOF-T shorter windlass in the triangle. The new SOF-T Gen IV does now have a small bracket and longer windlass which does make it easier to secure than the previous version, but still not as easy as the CAT imo.
    - The older version of the SOF-T folds smaller than both the Gen IV and the CAT, but as stated above is not as good one-handed. The SOF-T Gen IV and CAT fold to about the same size.
    - The SOF-T has a metal windlass and buckle versus the plastic on the CAT, which makes it more durable but also heavier.
    - The velcro on the CAT can be more susceptible to dirt and dust.
    - The SOF-T (both older version and Gen IV) are a few inches longer than the CAT, therefore can be more easily applied to larger limb.
    You can’t go wrong with either, so it comes down to personal preference.

    This is one reason to ensure that the CAT is purchased from a reputable medical supplier, because there are numerous counterfeits that are made with inferior materials.
     
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  5. maillet282

    maillet282 Loaded Pockets

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    All of my TQ’s have been acquired through my medical supply system and the companies that they order from is reputable. But I have occasionally seen them fail ( so far probably around 8 in my career in medicine so far) the majority of the failures were seen in training. I only had 1 fail on me in the field in a real situation. And I think the person who applied it didn’t tighten the TQ enough before using the windlass. But on a good day I also carry multiple cats and a couple SOF-TW regardless
     
  6. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    I don’t doubt that some of the real haven’t failed especially if training ones used multiple times or ones that were carried in extreme temperatures or sun, but it is a lot less likely to fail if it is an authentic one. Some counterfeits have even showed up on the military.
    https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/afghanistan/counterfeit-tourniquets-make-their-way-downrange-1.109797
     
  7. maillet282

    maillet282 Loaded Pockets

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    During my tour back in 2010-2011, the failures I’ve witnessed were due to improper storage on the casualties vests as well as improperly pre-tensioning the TQ before spinning the windlass. Most of the failures I also witnessed were either self aid or buddy aid applications and not from myself or people that were TCCC qualified
     
  8. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    Could you elaborate on this? I've seen TQ's attached to vests and belts with rubber bands and wondered if there could be issues with them being exposed. Is it best to have a dedicated TQ holder?
     
  9. maillet282

    maillet282 Loaded Pockets

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    There are definitely issues with this. Depending on the environment your in your TQ will wear out faster. Take Afghanistan for example. With the sand as fine as icing sugar getting pelted around all the time, this will clog up the Velcro of a CAT as well as will work it’s way into the actual band that the windlass is attached. Then factor in the sun weathering the actual material is also something to be considered as well ( even LEO should consider this)

    The recommendations regarding mounting TQ’s on plate carriers or belts are that they are kept in a pouch that will help protect from the elements And any other crap around you.

    Now that being said. I can’t remember where I read those recommendations but this is what I’ve been doing since my deployment and haven’t had a failure in a situation where I would actually be relying on that TQ to stop an extremity bleed. The failures I’ve seen in the last couple years have all been in a training environment ( some were brand new TQ’s and some were used over and over a couple hundred times.) I keep 2 cats on my vest inside my front line pouch as well as a surgical airway kit, combat gauze, needle Decompression needles, bandages, and 2 NPA and triage cards. As a quick 30 second save a life and move on instead of taking off my led bag
     
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  10. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I hadn't thought about debris affecting the velcro. I think I'm going to order a few pouches........
     
  11. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    Your comments make me think of a CAT on a police officer’s belt I saw not that long ago. The CAT was in a kydex holster that left the top half exposed. The CAT was so sun bleached from being exposed that the black looked grayish and the red tab was no longer red. I remember thinking that I hoped he never had a need for it to save someone’s life, because I wouldn’t be surprised if it failed.
     
  12. maillet282

    maillet282 Loaded Pockets

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    I make it a point of discussion with any of the LEO that I interact with. 99% of them appreciate the info and knowledge I try to pass on ( just like any of the medical posts on this forum) I have been told to piss off ( even if I am 33) and I just offer them my best wishes and hope they won’t need that worn out TQ for themselves or their partners.

    I have also given out one of my TQ’s to replace the one that the LEO used at the scene of an accident. I get them for free at work and know how they have been stored and taken care of so
     
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  13. Burncycle

    Burncycle Loaded Pockets

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    It's hard enough convincing some officers they need to shoot / rotate out and refresh their duty ammo once in a while.