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Counterfeit CAT Tourniquets Have Infiltrated Ontario Provincial Police

Back in 2010 we first warned you about the Element CAT Tourniquets which were manufactured offshore as props for milsim players.

Now, our friends at CTOMS, a Canadian firm that specializes in tactical medicine training and product development has alerted us to a deployment of these fake tourniquets with the Ontario Provincial Police. I am flabbergasted that it has gone as far as it has and you have got to take a few minutes to go read this crazy story.


We’ve known that the Element tourniquets were dangerous if used for real applications but the demonstration by CTOMS shows just how bad it is. Turn up your volume to hear the ultrasound.

These are NOT lifesaving devices and it is a shame that a company sold them to a law enforcement agency as though they were, and worse still that OPP continues to issue them to their officers in spite of being made aware of the issue. Please take the time to ensure that you are carrying a legitimate, life-saving tourniquet.

Combat Application Tourniquet (GEN III vs E-CAT)


11 Responses to “Counterfeit CAT Tourniquets Have Infiltrated Ontario Provincial Police”

  1. Weaver says:

    While I agree 100% that these counterfeit products should not be marketed AT ALL, and certainly shouldn’t have been sold to take the place of real TQs, the video above demonstrating failure is somewhat contrived, as in both cases the operator turned the windlass more than 360 full degrees – or two “turns” – past the point where blood flow had ceased. TQs should be applied “until the bright red bleeding stops”, or in this case to the point where the ultrasound could no longer detect blood flow through the popliteal artery, not until the strap reaches bone or cannot be muscled tighter – all that does is increase tissue damage.

    Proper application is a necessary component – over-doing it beyond necessity can eventually damage even the best, properly designed equipment.

  2. ChrisK says:

    If you read the article, it states, and for your own education, that disappearance of the pulse on a Doppler is not indicative of cessation of distal blood flow. Tourniquet application should be until bleeding stops AND complete loss of distal pulses. But other factors need to be taken into account.

    My puny leg is not the same as the majority of muscular soldiers and law enforcement officers that require a lot more force to occlude the femoral artery on them than on me.

    And finally, quite often tourniquets are placed over Adductor’s Canal, which is an area on the thigh that protects compression of the femoral artery. If a tk is placed over this area, the person applying it is going to turn it until they physically can’t turn that windlass rod anymore, and it will not stop the bleeding. That is the main reason why the recommendation for two, side by side is made when one fails. And why a stress test like this is so important.

    I certainly welcome and appreciate critical review of the video and the article, and self admittedly the test is very subjective. But your critial review was lacking in important facts and considerations. Next time maybe I wont use the Doppler so it doesn’t confuse people.

    • Weaver says:

      Thanks for the clarification – I did not see that there was an article associated with the video. I think using the doppler is useful, but perhaps next time a voice commentary could be incorporated for additional information. The added info does help explain why you felt – justifiably – it was appropriate to continue turning on to failure of the windlass.

  3. ST Doc says:

    Sorry, but no distributor should ever be fooled into selling element brand products as real gear. Element’s business is making props for the movie industry and those who like to dress up as soldiers on the weekend.

    • Welshy says:

      Most of those milsim players are using real CATs, since they’re cheap enough as it is.

      This just shows the danger of businesses selling Chinese knock offs as the real thing, or as good as the real thing. That danger ranges from people selling inferior equipment to soldiers, to something that could easily cost a life like selling fake CATs as real.

  4. here says:

    someone made the decision to save a few dollars somewhere along the procurement line just a simple case of fruad

  5. BradKAF308 says:

    Thanks CTOMS and SSD! I imediately forwarded this to a buddy who is OPP and a Afghan vet. I’m sure he still has his from roto, but his buddies won’t. That’s disgusting this goes on. Centralized purchasing is fine for pencils, photo copy paper, furniture, but life saving equipment! WTF!

  6. Ben says:

    I seriously cannot understand how such a piece of equipment could “infiltrate” the supply chain?

    Surely such items are purchased via a reliable and fixed channel and not just stumbled upon by somebody with a credit card and an internet connection?

    • AlexC says:

      You’d be suprised.

      The shaft is not nearly as shiny as the tip of the spear.


      • Ben says:


        “Hey, I know where we can save money! Let’s buy these cheap TQs because nobody ever uses them, right?”

        Even as an airsoft player myself, I cannot see the point in buying a “replica” TQ. It’s as stupid as buying a dummy fire extinguisher.

  7. Megalomaniac says:

    I think the larger issue is a failure of supply due to fraud or ignorance.

    There are only 3 things that caused this to happen:

    1. Who ever ordered was stingy/ignorant and bought these.

    2. Who ever ordered subbed these intentionally to save money, perhaps pocketed the difference or to make themselves look better at “saving” department funds.

    3. The most serious and likely, some stole actual CAT TQs from inventory to sell off and replaced with these replicas.

    The larger issue isn’t the fake TQs its a supply chain failure, if these ended up in the inventory I wonder what else did.