Another Tourniquet Tuesday for you guys. This time my dear friend and Pine Survey Contributor Alzwolf will take a closer look at the R.A.T.S. tourniquet by RATS Medical.
R.A.T.S. Tourniquet (Rapid Application Tourniquet System)
The company RATS Medical advertises their tourniquet as the fastest on the market. It should be easy to apply under stress, to prevent massive blood loss. The RATS can also be used on animals – one more reason to take a closer look at it.
- Material: Vulcanized rubber with nylon sheath, and aluminium cleat
- Weight: 68 g
- Dimensions packed: 16.8 x 5.8 x 2 cm / unpacked: 116 cm
- Colours: black, orange, coyote, hi-vis green
The RATS (Rapid Application Tourniquet System) was designed based on feedback from the battlefield, where soldiers required a tourniquet that could be easily applied and offered a low profile carry at the same time. The tourniquet is already in use around the world by various SOF elements and therefore has been proven on the battlefield. The RATS can fit just about anywhere on your kit and can be quickly applied to an extremity using one hand.
The RATS tourniquet uses the simple combination of a three finger loop, trucker’s hitch, and tight but closely spaced wraps to stop the bleeding and save yourself, or others. The RATS tourniquet isn’t just for people – it works on animals too. As in the following images here, the principles of application and stopping bleeding are the same, whether you have two legs or four.
Application on the leg
Sometimes the creation of this TQ is confusing. When using it with one hand, you have to aim accurately to thread the end of the tape into the three finger loop. Especially under shock, blood loss, survival pressure, noise and stress, this is not easy at all! You should also create the three-finger loop on the right side. I have practiced that the loop points away from the body and also to the body at different times.
When using with one hand on the arm, you have to put on the rubber band and then wrap it around the arm. Do not neglect the pull on the tape, otherwise it can happen that you quickly lose the pressure on the ligated bloodstream. This is not easy, because you already need a large area for setting it up and you wrap the ribbon around the arm several times. The wounded tape should run side by side.
To make matters worse: if the rubber band is slippery because of mud, moisture, blood, etc. it complicates the tight application of the RATS.
Easy said. It is important to prevent a massive blood loss and that is known every second.
When used with two hands, the tourniquet is easy and quick to handle. Again, care must be taken that the windings are close together, so as to get a large area for binding off the blood stream.
On the subject of use in animals especially in dogs, I have the experience that the loop and the length of the band is disturbing. As with humans, it is important to exert a large and even pressure on the blood stream to stop the bleeding. My four-legged partner already had a very disturbed look when I started to wrap.
The positive thing about the RATS is the low price and the size. You will be able to carry this TQ everywhere, no matter if trouser pocket, sleeve pocket, fanny pack, first aid bag etc. First and foremost, the RATS is just a back-up for me in the MediPack and nothing more. In the first place, I will use a TQ which is quick and easy to set up and builds up a large, even pressure, such as the already presented S.B.T., SICH, SOFT-T or SAM XT Tourniquet.
With that being said, thank you for reading!