In theory, and material that is not elastic, when wrapped around an arm or a leg and tightened, should be able to stop blood flow. This is the function of a tourniquet. While there are a number of tourniquets currently available for purchase, a large portion of these have not been thoroughly tested and may not live up to expectations. For many people, this is not a concern, but should you be looking to purchase a Recon Medical Tourniquet for use in a potentially live saving situation, it pays to check reviews and make sure you know what to expect. We spoke to the medical team at Medi Supply Co. to find out what they thought about Recon’s product.
The Recon Medical Tourniquet looks a lot like the 6th generation CAT Tourniquet, but with a few small differences. The main difference is that it has a thumb hole through the leading edge, which is supposed to aid in pulling the tourniquet tighter with the additional help of the thumb grip. Another notable difference between the gen 6 CAT model, is the addition of a metal windlass buckle, which is similar to the newer, generation 7 CAT product.
Reviews for the tourniquet online are overwhelmingly positive and many users like the thumb hole design and the added ease of tightening it offers. The real reason that the Recon TQ is so popular however is the fact that is it so much cheaper than the CAT products it tries to copy. Price is always an important factor but when it’s for a life or death situation it might be worth considering the more expensive options.
Studies and Testing
While online reviews on popular online ecommerce platforms are overwhelmingly favorable, “one concern with the Recon Medical TQ is that is has not been thoroughly tested like some other, more expensive brand tourniquets; namely SOF-T (W) and CAT (gen 6 or 7),” said a representative of Think Pharmacy Group in Australia.
The Recon brand are aware that there are currently no studies showing how effectively their tourniquets work. It would not be difficult for them to arrange this, but it seems they are happy with the current status quo, selling their popular product without evidence they are reliable and 100% safe to use under the required circumstances, and undercutting the market at the same time.
A simple study showing the application of the TQ high on the thigh, using a doppler ultrasound to show the occluding of blood flow would suffice. Proof of the reliable, consistent, and functioning efficacy of the tourniquets would put a lot of purchasers’ minds at ease. The Recon Medical Tourniquet is NTOA (National Tactical Officers Association) approved, but they also approve polo shirts, so this probably doesn’t mean too much.
Emergency Situation Experience
One Arizona Fireman who uses tourniquets regularly believes Recon’s TQs to be a second-rate product. He believes they are popular due to their low price and they fact they work better than many other TQs on the market, however since they haven’t been tested, they shouldn’t be trusted for potentially life-saving applications.
In his experience, they are also harder to self-apply compared to CAT or SOF-T tourniquets. Since both the SOF-T (his personal favourite) and CAT tourniquets have a significant amount of data collected from third parties to supporting their capabilities, he prefers to stick with those brands. One further point he did bring out however was that “any tourniquet is useless if it isn’t with you”. With this in mind, always be sure keep multiple TQs on hand, in an easy to find spot e.g. at your business in the medical area or under clearly marked PPE Signage, or in your car glove box etc. The last thing you want is to be frantically searching for your TQ when you need it most.
So there you have it, our full review of the Recon Medical Tourniquet. Ultimately if you’re just looking for a cheap tourniquet and it’s not likely going to be necessary in any emergency situation the Recon model might suffice, but if you want a thoroughly tested and proven reliable tourniquet, do yourself a favor and spend that little bit extra on a brand with known and proven quality.
If you’re interested in medical reviews you might be interested in our review of Montezuma’s Secret.