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CAT vs SWAT-T

If you carry a gun you better be carrying a blow out kit.

There is simply no excuse not to do so. If you are prepared to draw your weapon and use deadly force then by definition you’re in danger of serious bodily harm (stipulating only good guys are reading this of course).  I don’t intend to go over the various contents of blow out kits in this post but I do want to touch on the importance of a tourniquet.

Battlefield experience has proven how critical, and effective, a tourniquet is at saving lives. Although there are a number of different tourniquet options in the marketplace the two that we recommend are the Combat Application Tourniquet and the SWAT-T. Both have strengths and weaknesses and I believe both have a place in your kit.

The CAT has been used by the military since 2005 and is an excellent tool. The CAT can apply tremendous pressure easily using the patented windlass system. One of the most important advantages of the CAT is the ability to apply it to yourself using only one hand. The real disadvantage is that it is not intuitive. Without some prior training an individual, under stress, is very unlikely to figure out how to operate the tourniquet when seconds count.

Combat Application Tourniquet

Combat Application Tourniquet

We recommend the CAT primarily for use in an environment where the other personnel in your group have had prior training with the device. The other circumstance is when you are operating alone and if wounded will be the only one that could provide medical assistance.

The SWAT-T is also an excellent design that has saved thousands of lives in the field. It’s advantages and disadvantages are almost exactly the opposite of the CAT. The biggest advantage of the SWAT-T is that it is very intuitive to use. The instructive pictures on the product are instantly recognizable and virtually anyone can pick up the product and apply it to a wounded individual. The downside is that it is not as easy to apply to yourself (particularly one handed) and the CAT is superior in that application.

SWAT-T

SWAT-T

The SWAT-T is also a multi-tasker in that it can be used as a pressure dressing or elastic bandage. It is very effective on sprains or use in a splint for a broken bone.

For most customers we recommend the SWAT-T over the CAT simply because it is more likely to be used on you by another person. Whether in your blow kit or bug out bag the SWAT-T is compact, durable and easy to use.

Adventure Medical Kits came out recently with their Trauma Pak Pro which is a great off the shelf kit. It contains a SWAT-T, QuickClot 25g sponge, gloves, dressing and duct tape.

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