CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 11, 2021 –  Combat Medical, a division of Safeguard Medical, and a global provider of mission critical devices that simplify tactical medicine and dramatically empower medical operators to save lives, has entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that will once again allow the U.S. military full access to its life-saving tourniquets and Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs). The historic agreement, which resulted from a lawsuit against the federal government for violations of federal procurement law, eliminates an alleged de facto ban on Combat Medical’s  Tactical Mechanical Tourniquet (TMT), and is accompanied by a memo from the Command Surgeon of the U.S Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) stating that the TMT, and the IFAKs and Combat Lifesaver Bags they are included in, are available for Army use effective immediately.

“Our nation’s warfighters in the field have the expectation that they will have access to the best life-saving products available, so we are grateful that the Department of Justice has recognized the value of the TMT tourniquet by reversing improper procurement barriers and restoring the U.S. Army’s ability to use it,” said Corey Russ, founder & president of Combat Medical and former U.S. Army Special Forces Medical Sergeant. “Whether in extreme environments in close combat or prolonged field care, Combat Medical’s TMT tourniquet provides a more reliable solution so every soldier can save a life when duty calls. We will continue to work with the Department of Defense to achieve our goal of providing members of the military at every skill level and in any environment with the best tools and training to save lives.”

The TMT tourniquet is a mission critical device specifically designed for massive hemorrhage control of an extremity. Using lessons learned from the battlefield, the TMT was designed to ensure ease of application as either a self-aid or buddy aid to definitively achieve occlusion with a single tourniquet application, instantly treating a life-threatening hemorrhage.

Despite the TMT tourniquet being used by 130,000 soldiers in the United States Army’s III Corps, and despite it having been thoroughly evaluated and recommended by the Defense Health Agency’s Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (“CoTCCC”), subordinate units within the Army improperly intervened by applying a “T-Code” in the procurement system. This blocked Army units from purchasing the TMT, as well as first aid kits which contained the tourniquet. A “T-Code” is only supposed to be applied to “condemned” items in the U.S. Army procurement system, which has only ever happened to 113 products out of approximately 420,000. 108 of the previous T-Code issuances were related to an FDA latex recall, and 4 were applied to items indicated by the FDA or extensive test as dangerous to use. The final T-Code had been improperly applied to the TMT, and its reversal is an historic first.

“The decision by the Department of Justice to remove the artificial blocks which prevented the Army from providing U.S. soldiers with Combat Medical’s advanced, life-saving emergency medical equipment is a win for America’s warfighters,” said Adam Johnson, CEO of Safeguard Medical, the parent company of Combat Medical. “After years of Combat Medical partnering closely with the DOD, we understand that the intent at all levels of the military is to put the best available products in the hands of our warfighters. Our lawsuit brought attention to missteps within the procurement process that did not align with that intent, and the result is the renewed ability to provide soldiers with proven and advanced solutions like the TMT tourniquet to help eliminate preventable deaths on the battlefield.”

In addition to the TMT tourniquet being immediately available for use within the Department of Defense, the agreement allows the U.S. Army to more efficiently outfit soldiers with synchronized first aid kits. As a mechanism to improve readiness, Combat Medical’s IFAKs can be synchronized to ensure all components arrive together with 5-year usefulness, rather than current IFAKs which are created with individual components from multiple manufacturers that each have their own expiration date. This approach doubles the effective purchasing power of every dollar spent toward medical readiness and would simplify logistics to achieve kit readiness of 100 percent, which is the greatest opportunity to improve survivability.

The TMT tourniquet is manufactured entirely with American-sourced components by a diverse workforce that includes highly skilled blind and low-vision men and women.

About Combat Medical
Combat Medical Systems was founded in 2008 by a team of experienced military medical personnel and industry product specialists with a mission to simplify tactical medicine. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, it continues to work across the DoD, with medics and providers to develop innovative life-saving capabilities for the next battlefield.

About Safeguard Medical
Safeguard Medical brings together life-saving medical products and highly specialized knowledge of emergency medical skills in order to preserve life. Safeguard Medical distributes the leading brands in hemostasis, bandage, blood transport and transfusion, hypothermia and burn care to more than 50 countries.

Safeguard Medical is made up of four highly regarded divisions that share a common vision for the safety of people in the face of an emergency: Combat Medical focuses on simplified tactical medical products and training to support military troops in the field; Prometheus Medical supplies pre-hospital emergency medical training and consultancy around the world; Water-Jel is a global leader in first aid and burn treatment products; and SIMBODIES develops patient simulation equipment for emergency medical training.