For the treatment of injured persons with heavily bleeding limb injuries, such as after explosive attacks or gunshot wounds, immediate and effective haemostasis is becoming increasingly important. For this purpose, modern Tourniquets C.A.T. - as they have been successfully used for many years in military medicine for tying up heavily bleeding limbs - are increasingly being used in civilian rescue services as well.

 Origin of the TQ

The Tourniquet we know was developed by the American military in the early days of the war in Afghanistan for rapid application of a tourniquet in cases of life-threatening bleeding, multiple sources of bleeding or amputations. Since tactical emergency care may take place in the battlefield or even "under-fire" under very limited time pressure, we will choose the application so that we can apply the tourniquet to the extremities as quickly as possible in the case of "critical bleeding" and bring the patient out of the danger zone, also known as the hot zone, in order to initiate further steps in emergency medicine.

Tourniquets are used to temporarily stop life-threatening limb bleeding in a timely manner by tying off the blood supply if compression of the wound (e.g. by means of a pressure bandage) is not sufficient or not practical in the given situation. This will prevent continued and uncontrollable blood loss until adequate haemostasis can be achieved by other means.

Apply the Tourniquet correctly

  • The tourniquet must be applied about a hand's width above the injury, if possible directly on the skin, as it might slip through clothing. The toggle for correct tensioning should be on the outside of the limb - this allows it to be turned/tensioned more easily.
  • The tourniquet should not be applied or placed on joints or open fractures.
  • After applying around the affected limb, firmly pre-tighten or tighten the strap of the TQ so that the TQ is firmly pre-tensioned. Proper pre-tensioning is very important to subsequently stop bleeding as quickly as possible.
  • After pre-tensioning, turn the toggle firmly until the bleeding stops and hang it in the holder provided for this purpose.
  • Put the time-strip on it and write the time of application on it. This is important for handing over to the other rescuers.

Tip: Even after a tourniquet has been correctly applied, the injury must be constantly checked to see if it starts bleeding again. Especially if the casualty is repositioned - re-tensioning the TQ or, if necessary, applying a second TQ close to the trunk of the body could be very helpful in this situation.

Evacuation under combat conditions is a topic in itself, which we will deal with in another detailed article at a later date.


A properly applied tourniquet causes massive pain. Even if it causes pain to the injured person, the Tourniquet should be closed sufficiently to stop the bleeding - even during training, the TQ should be applied in the same way as you would apply it in an emergency situation. However, remove it immediately after the application check.


We only use original C.A.T. Gen.7 for all our operations as well as training and further education. Inexpensive imitation products usually do not meet the quality standard and can therefore break when applied in an emergency or become so deformed that correct application with the aim of stopping bleeding cannot be guaranteed!

Tip: Original tourniquets have a CE mark and an MPG approval number and cost at least EUR 30.
Red-Tip belts have not yet been approved in Germany and Austria!

Also, take a look at our YouTube video:








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