Introduction: How to Use a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT)

The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) is an effective tool to help control severe blood loss from body's extremities. If used correctly, the CAT has the ability to save lives. A general misconception of the CAT is that it will result in the casualty requiring amputation of their extremity; this is false. Amputation is more often required as a result of the injury itself, not because of the tourniquet.

This Instructable will teach you about the parts of the CAT, correct placement on the extremity, and how to secure it in place

DISCLAIMER:The CAT should be a LAST RESORT for blood control management. Applying direct pressure to the injury and elevating the extremity above the heart should be attempted prior to utilizing the CAT.

MATERIAL(S) REQUIRED:1 Combat Application Tourniquet (U.S. military members are usually issued 2 while tasked for deployment, however, they are available for purchase through online vendors).

Step 1: CAT Terminology

  1. Friction Adapter Buckle
  2. Windlass Rod
  3. Windlass Clip
  4. Windlass Strap
  5. Omni-Tape Band

Step 2: Place Injured Extremity Through the Loop of the Omni-Tape Band

NOTE: You may have to thread the Omni-Tape Band through the Friction Adapter Buckle if it was not done so already.

Step 3: Place the CAT Approximately 2-4 Inches ABOVE the Injury

  • You can use your fingers to estimate the distance (generally 2-4 fingers width should be sufficient)

Step 4: Once Placement of CAT Is Correct, Tighten the Omni-Tape Band Then Secure It Onto Itself With the Velcro

Step 5: Twist the Windlass Rod NO MORE THAN 3 TIMES, Then Insert It Into the Windlass Clip

  • Twisting the Windlass Rod more than 3 times may cause it to break.
  • If you can twist the Windlass Rod more than 3 times, repeat the previous step and pull the Omni-Tape Band tighter.

Step 6: Thread the Excess Omni-Tape Band Through the Windlass Clip Then Secure It Using the Windlass Strap

Step 7: Apply a 2nd CAT 2-4 Inches ABOVE the 1st CAT If Bleeding Is Still Not Controlled

Step 8: