Sorry for the long time in not posting. But, today I want to do something that is not normal for my channel. I want to bring attention to a product that after seeing it I am fired up about. This product is not a normal geek product, game or book. In fact it is a life saving medical device that I think needs to be included with our Soldier basic kit. That product is the S.T.A.T. Tourniquet.
I think a little background on Soldier field medical care is in order to understand why this item has the potential to be big for Soldiers. First Aid was first used on the battle field in the US Army at the Battle of Antietam and then again at Gettysburg and Fredericksburg. Jonathan Letterman had devised the system of triage. The success of his system was adopted by an Act of Congress in 1864 and was the birth of modern battlefield medicine
Twenty-two years later, Nov. 20, 1886, General Order No. 86 introduced the idea a first aid to all soldiers. Unfortunately, it only took thirteen years for the advances to be forgotten and the Spanish American war in 1898 saw the Army unprepared to care for wounded. But, George M. Sternberg, the Army’s surgeon general, ordered that American Soldiers be issued a First Aid packet, containing gauze to stop bleeding.
In WWI soldiers were issued a roughly similar kit, two bandages, two compresses, and two safety pins contained in a hermetically sealed metal case carried in a first aid pouch. This was meant to stop or contain bleeding until a medic could provide further first aid and evacuate the Soldier.
WWII saw the first issuance of a Tourniquet to individual combat troops. But, even then it wasn’t uniformly issued to all formations or theaters. But, the kits were the first attempt at providing individual soldiers with the means to handle multiple wound types with self or buddy aid.
Post WWII saw multiple versions of the Individual First Aid Kit. These kits varied in contents over the years but, they tended to be small and tended to take inspiration from the M-2 Jungle individual medical kit. Each of these designs omitted a tourniquet.
Modern war saw the redesign of the individual first aid kit again with the IFAK this kit was the first universally issued to all soldiers that contained a tourniquet. The combat application tourniquet (CAT). Now, this also coincided with a review of tourniquet use doctrine. As after WWII the use of tourniquets in combat was discouraged due to a high amputation rate. But, the improvement of battlefield transportation networks has made the use of tourniquets almost second nature to stop uncontrolled extremity bleeding.
The down side of the CAT is that it does require specific training on not just the principles of use, but the actual employment of the device. As the tourniquet uses a winding rod to tighten and Velcro to secure the rod it can be semi slow to apply and the requires a bit of hand strength to tighten to an effective level. These two requirements make it slightly less effective for a soldier to self administer.
The S.T.A.T. Tourniquet looks to be a logical and effective next step in battle field medical devices. As it is functionally similar to a zip tie the level of knowledge on how to apply it is easy convey. Also because it is a zip tie a Soldier can use their whole arm strength to tighten which is important when self applying as you may be using the non dominant hand lessening your dexterity.
I hope that the Army seriously considers this item for the IFAK. Please if you are or know a Soldier please start talking to your leaders. I think this is the perfect opportunity for the Soldier to influence their individual battle field medical care.