Now that schools have begun adopting Stop The Bleed training, they often receive poor or no guidance on what kits to buy or how to get training.
They need both.
Bleeding Control Kits
The Stop the Bleed Campaign, the First Care Provider Course project, and the Bleeding Control course concept was designed to encourage
bystanders to gain training in hemorrhage control. As schools have learned about this initiative, they have begun adding medical supplies and training to their school hardening plans. Many schools, however, have fallen prey to not knowing what equipment to purchase or what training to obtain.
Recently, a school district in Florida bought 800 counterfeit tourniquets. The school was presented with this evidence and initially ignored the information, stating that what they had “was better than nothing”. The school subsequently agreed to remove the tourniquets but only after intense efforts led by very prominent members of the tactical medicine community via social media.
Had it not been for this effort, the school would have put all their students and staff at risk.
The FDA describes these as dangerous and recommends destroying them. These Chinese knock-offs are not made to any recognized standard; the plastic is flimsy and cheap, the stitching pulls out, and they have broken during real-world emergencies when applied to wounded casualties.
We understand buying tourniquets and first aid gear can be confusing. There are many companies cashing in on the Bleeding Control and Active Shooter “Gearmongering”, selling bleeding control kits full of useless, low-quality components. The Department of Defense’s TCCC committee recommends several tourniquets with evidence supporting their efficacy, and even among those tourniquets, some have more evidence supporting their use. Your kit should contain one of these TCCC recommended tourniquets, otherwise, you may be using one without good evidence supporting its efficacy. Additionally, it is very difficult to pick out the genuine tourniquet from a cheap knockoff.
Our message to you is: Don’t select life-saving equipment based on cost or appearance.
Currently, the only TCCC recommended tourniquets found in bleeding control kits are:
- Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T) Gen 7 and Gen 6 This tourniquet is by far the most commonly counterfeited.
- SOF Tactical Tourniquet – Wide (SOFT-W) While not as commonly counterfeited as the CAT, there are some Chinese knockoffs on the market.
- Tactical Mechanical Tourniquet (TMT)
- Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet -Tactical (RMT-T)
- SAM Extremity Tourniquet (SAM-XT)
There is a new player in the game that is turning heads and really getting the attention of a lot of people, however, it has not yet been selected for evaluation by the CoTCCC. It is called the Strengthened Improved Hybrid Tourniquet (SICH) and It is made in Ukraine, it is extremely high quality, and available for about $5-$10 less than the others. We recommend this tourniquet without hesitation.
Medical evidence shows tourniquets are only 70% effective on thighs. You need to learn the next step in the plan. Placing two tourniquets side-by-side increases their effectiveness by 10%. If that still isn’t working, you need to know how to pack a wound. We know this is scary information, and we are here ready and willing to assist you.
The takeaway from this page is to realize that obtaining proper education and training is the best way to avoid getting counterfeit or unproven tourniquets and bleeding control kits. In order for you to create a cohesive treatment plan, you need both good equipment and good training to learn how best to use it. Your training must be both academically sound and tactically realistic, the first time you see a critically wounded person should not be when you are trying to render aid to a student or your colleague.
“If you are in the Miami-Dade County or surrounding areas, you owe it to yourself, your students, or your coworkers to give us a call and let us help you ensure you have the proper plan in place.”