Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

I “confiscated” another counterfeit tourniquet. It upset me so badly that I put off writing about it for months. Strangely, I seem to have a nose for sniffing them out and identifying them for certain. However, the infuriating part is that I realized that people don’t understand how counterfeit tourniquets are actually more dangerous than improvised versions. So, I’m going to tell you a few more times.

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

Trying To Do The Right Thing

I’ll skip the who what when where how, and just say that the person who purchased it from an online retailer was trying to do the right thing.

Most people who purchase tourniquets actually do want to do the right thing. They want to have the one piece of bleeding control equipment that might save a person’s life in the last three or four minutes that it might be possible.

However, they don’t realize how dangerous it is to purchase inferior, untested and recommended medical equipment for a last-ditch effort at saving a life. With only three minutes to save someone; this is not the time for counterfeits.

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

The Problem

Here’s the problem with purchasing a tourniquet that is not definitely legit.

It’s worse than no tourniquet.

How do I know that? I took a class with an expert. More on that later.

A counterfeit tourniquet can actually cause you to bleed out instead of keep the blood in the body. I hope that is enough to convince you to purchase real tourniquets. It becomes a “venous constricting band.”

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

How To Tell The Difference

Well, if you purchase your tourniquets directly from the manufacturer or their primary distributor, like from North American Rescue, you don’t need to tell because you have the real deal.

If not, there are a few details that might give it away. Stitching, heat welds, widths, logos, and some other small bits and bobs.

Teenagers like to go on Quizlet and play “real or fake” games identifying legitimate or counterfeit expensive sneakers like Air Jordans. Personally, I like to cruise eBay and suss out counterfeit Tiffany & Co. packaging. Give me two minutes with your Coach purse, and I’ll tell you if it’s the real thing.

Tourniquets? Usually I can bust those in thirty seconds or less.

Here are some great links for you:

Counterfeit Product Alert ®C-A-T: Combat Application Tourniquets (CAT)

Crisis Medicine – School District Issues Counterfeit Tourniquets During National Stop the Bleed Month

Rescue Essentials – Beware Fake CAT Tourniquets on Amazon

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

Why Someone Would Produce Counterfeit Tourniquets

To make money. For all the same reasons they produce fake Levi’s, dupes of Dooney & Bourke purses, look-alike Luis Vuitton bags, and knockoffs of Christian Dior sunglasses – to make money.

The problem is that even counterfeits find their way into the supply of law enforcement officers, the military, and citizens.

Some people point to the air gun industry as starting a trend toward dressing up with full realistic-looking gear. That may be, but fake tourniquets are a lot more dangerous than plastic pirate swords sold at Halloween.

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

What To Do With This Knowledge

Spread the word about counterfeit tourniquets.

Educate yourself; take a course from Crisis Medicine and learn from professionals in the field. Crisis Medicine‘s Tactical Casualty Care Course knowledge is a great place to start so you can help yourself and your loved ones. Bill took the course first and learned so much that he then he gave me the course for Christmas a couple years ago. I learned so much that I started writing articles about tourniquets, and resolved to encourage others to learn more about bleeding control.

Buy straight from the source. North American Rescue’s CAT Combat Application Tourniquets are on the CoTCCC approved list. Get two. For each person’s car and workplace.

Read the list of CoTCCC approved and/or recommended limb tourniquets. The Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care is the standard for combat training and supplies. “Combat medical personnel and non-medical combatants in U.S. and most coalition militaries are now being trained to manage combat trauma on the battlefield in accordance with TCCC Guidelines.” – TCCC-MP Guidelines and Curriculum.

These are the experts from around the world who know how to test medical lifesaving devices. I’m no expert, but I know you can’t test them on yourself with any sort of precision. Leave that to the professionals. Please.

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

What I Did Next

Two weeks after I confiscated the counterfeit tourniquet, I spoke to a group of Rotary members. Now I had a counterfeit to pass around with a couple other real ones. I worried that somehow, in wanting to have a counterfeit to demonstrate to the Rotary group, I had “wished” this counterfeit into my life.

At the Rotary meeting, I reviewed all the features to look for when identifying a counterfeit tourniquet, then passed around one real CAT tourniquet from North American Rescue, and the fake.

Out of a room full of really smart businesspeople, only one correctly identified the counterfeit.

However, a couple of the men liked to hunt and mentioned that they should carry a couple with them when they climb their tree stands. Score! Someone understood the need to be prepared.

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

Paying It Forward

During demanding and receiving the removal of 800 counterfeit tourniquets from classrooms in my school district, I made a lot of good connections with people in the combat care community. I wrote to Chris at North American Rescue about my newest confiscation. In sympathy for my excellent spotting skills, he sent an entire bleeding control pack to me.

Pay it forward felt like the best way to proceed, so I, in turn, gave that packet plus a second tourniquet from my own purchases to our tree surgeon. He climbed 75 feet up into a tree in our swamp with a dangling, swinging, running chain saw. Then he brought the tree down one segment at a time. With that running, dangling chainsaw. Prevention is the best cure – I figured if he had two tourniquets, maybe nothing bad would ever happen. So far, so good.

Once, I emailed Chris at NAR about a catalogue featuring a $40 counterfeit tourniquet “patent pending” it said – with the name C-A-T-(r) that was such a blatant copy of their product. He was happy to chase them down, and sent me yet another free tourniquet to replace the one I gave the well-intentioned person from whom I confiscated the tourniquet that spurred this article. I suppose that’s a thank you for all the promotion I’ve tried to accomplish educating people about the need for bleeding control training.

Chris at NAR says I am a “counterfeit tourniquet magnet.” Thanks, Chris. I think that’s a compliment.

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

I’m Taking More Training

I got an invitation to TacMed Solutions’ free training, but I have not had time to look at any of it, but I will. However, I have taken a few more Diver’s Alert Network courses and FEMA courses to further my crisis education preparedness over that last two months.

Crisis Medicine’s class is just thoroughly… thoroughly… detailed and based on personal experience, knowledge, decades of training, trial-an-not-too-much-error, professional, well, I could go on and on… Dr. Mike Shert’z training is so much better than the Homeland Security freebie training online.

There. I said it. Do yourself a favor and take the first course. Let Dr. Shertz explain to you why counterfeit tourniquets are no good. Listen to the experts.

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

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Thank you Bill for always being ready for the next adventure and holding out your hand to lead me through the next door! Best Preparedness Partner EVER!

counterfeit tourniquet, Counterfeit Tourniquet Are More Dangerous Than Improvised // I Confiscated Another One

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