Updated: Nov 9, 2021
The importance of tourniquets in first aid treatment cannot be overemphasized. They are critical in preventing blood loss when a severe injury occurs and could determine if a wounded person lives or dies.
At the moment, there are different tourniquets available with varying levels of effectiveness. The US Army recommends the Combat Application Tourniquet, CAT. This is because the device has helped in reducing the mortality rate by 85% since its introduction in combat in 2005.
Faster application, effective slack removal, fewer windlass turns, and simplified training with single protocol application standards are features that make CAT essential. CAT tourniquets come in three main colors: blue, orange, and black.
This article explores the features and functions of each color.
Colors of CAT tourniquet
CAT Blue Trainer Version
This is a training device that enables instructors and trainees to have hands-on training and tourniquet application practice. Its blue color is used to distinguish it from other personal or operational life-saving devices. Normally it's used for first aid training.
CAT - Orange and Black
These colors of Combat Application Tourniquet offer similar functions and features. Both colors are small and lightweight tourniquets designed to be used one-handed.
They can completely occlude arterial and venous blood flow of an extremity in the event of a traumatic injury.
How To Choose The Right Color
The color of CAT you opt for will depend on where you want to apply it. For training and practice, you can use the blue-colored CAT. However, for real-life applications, you’ll need the orange version, for military and police using you'll need the black version..
CAT tourniquets are safe, fast, and easy to use devices that offer various quality features that control life-threatening extremity bleeding. According to the US Army Institute of Research, it is 100% effective – which means it guarantees complete control of blood loss. It is also cost-efficient and comes in different colors or types with a variety of applications.