By now I hope everyone is well aware that counterfeit tourniquets, both C-A-T®s and SOF®-TTs are out there. This is infuriating when you consider the possible consequences. The U.S. DoD has issued warnings including memo’s and picture presentations with the hopes of widest dispersion. Apparently the Afghan National Army was taken advantage of, and ended up procuring hundreds of thousands of these counterfeits. Of course with numbers like that and the integration of forces, cross contamination is quite possible if not probable. But that is Afghanistan. A young, maybe naive procurement system, easily taken advantage of, especially looking for a cheap alternative to the high quality North American standards that the C-A-T® and SOF®-TTs are manufactured to. That could never happen here, right? Or could it?
It seems that it could! Buyer beware! Counterfeit tourniquets are in Canada. And not just at the airsoft stores. No. They have been procured in the thousands by a provincial police department through their provincial procurement authority. Now, we’re usually overly secure about information release. We take information security very serious. But this is far too important to keep close hold. And this is why:
Forget the fact that the counterfeits are in blatant Trademark and Patent violations. Forget the business ethics and morals of the sellers of these products. The fact that thousands of these counterfeit tourniquets have entered the country, been ‘officially’ procured by a provincial procurement authority (of medical equipment!) and are waiting to be issued to uniformed public servant law enforcement officers as a tool to save their life, should be a concern for every single tax payer and every single Canadian. This is equivalent to procuring officers toy guns, literally. If they have to shoot someone to save their life or to protect the public, the toy gun isn’t going to do any good. And guess what? The toy tourniquet isn’t going to either. I have personally tested some of these counterfeits, and they break easily. Very easily. Too easily. There is no chance of them stopping a life threatening bleed because there are no manufacturing standards (or ethics or morals for that matter). They are a ‘toy’ intended to be a replica for war game players to ‘look’ the part with all the detailed accessories of a soldier, but without the price tag. And they have put Canadian public servants – law enforcement officer’s lives at risk.
The other reason this is important is because it means that not only have public agencies procured these, but now that they are here! And the potential exists for the market to flood with them. And the ill informed will be taken advantage of and more lives put at risk.
What can we do? These are our recommendations:
- Only use CoTCCC/CCCWG recommended tourniquets to ensure safety and effectiveness of your life saving equipment (remember manufacturer’s claims are only that; claims. Tourniquets should be independently tested and verified as effective. Just because it is called a “tourniquet” doesn’t mean that it physically has the potential to control massive hemorrhage, which is actually the case with the counterfeits. Mountains of independent data exist for the C-A-T®s and SOF®-TTs and is available on the internet if you know where to look.);
- Only purchase your tourniquet’s from reputable, proper and legal supply chains. When in doubt, contact the actual manufacturer: C-A-T® is Composite Resources and the SOF®-TT is Tactical Medical Solutions.
- Inspect all your tourniquets for counterfeit contamination. Get all your officers/soldiers to do the same. When in doubt, contact the authorized Distributor or Manufacturer;
- If you find a counterfeit – destroy it. DO NOT return it to the seller as they may potentially resell it.
- Pay attention to ALL your medical equipment as there are counterfeit bandages and hemostatic dressings out there as well, and who knows what else is in the works. It has already been proven that some brands of bandages manufactured in China potentially contain dangerous bacteria.
The really dangerous part is that they copy the manufacturer’s label, including logo, address, serial numbers and NSN’s. If you have ANY questions on counterfeit tourniquets or the safety of medical equipment, please contact CTOMS™. After all, this is serious business.
You can compare your tourniquets using this resource: Fake C-A-T Comparison
But beware, there are new ones out there too: Newer counterfeit C-A-T
And FAKE SOF-TT-Ws too!