Tourniquet Tuesday: RATS Tourniquet

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.

The R.A.T.S. tourniquet


  • 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.

Small, light and compact in the front pocket of the Husar Cubby Hybrid.

Ready to put the RATS on the arm

Application on the arm with one hand. The three finger loop points to me.

Strengthen the rubber band to build up the pressure and stop the blood supply.

Maintain the built-up pressure by pulling hard on the rubber band; then the band is wrapped around the arm several times.

At the end, the band is pressed into the aluminium part and secured.

Application on the leg

Application with two hands on the leg.

The three-finger loop points outward this time. The rubber band is guided through the loop.

Again, with a strong pull on the rubber band, the blood supply is tied off.

Continue to pull hard on the rubber band to maintain the pressure and wrap around the leg.

Maximum of two windings on the leg. Thread into the aluminium part and the RATS is secured.


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.

The pressure surface on the arm after a maximum of three windings. Here I must admit that I have a bad feeling, but I still feel that the blood supply is tied.

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!

Take care!


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