In January 2018, INTERPOL Washington—the U.S. National Central Bureau--teamed with the Intellectual Property Rights Coordination (IPRC) Center to issue an INTERPOL Orange Notice to notify the international community about the discovery of counterfeit medical tourniquets. Orange Notices warn all INTERPOL member countries of a person, an object, an event or a modus operandi which presents an imminent threat to public safety and is likely to cause serious injury to persons and/or damage to property.
Medical tourniquets are used in many emergency situations and are commonly used by first responders, law enforcement, and military lifesaving personnel around the world. Tourniquets are used to apply pressure to restrict blood flow to an injured appendage. The warnings were prompted after a tourniquet – later confirmed as counterfeit – broke while being used by an emergency medical technician on a patient at the scene of a motor vehicle accident in the United States. The tourniquet malfunctioned when the tension rod snapped, making it impossible to tighten.
Orange Notices are used for reporting counterfeit devices under Project Safety Net. The first such Orange Notice was issued on February 2017, concerning automotive air bags, both original manufactures’ equipment and/or counterfeit devices discovered by law enforcement personnel.
The IPRC Center coordinates investigations of sources of merchandise that infringe intellectual property rights to identify organizations and individuals that produce, smuggle, or distribute such merchandise. The center conducts and coordinates training with other domestic and international law enforcement agencies on investigative best practices. INTERPOL Washington is a member of the IPRC.
A component of the U.S. Department of Justice, INTERPOL Washington is co-managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As the designated representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General, INTERPOL Washington serves as the national point of contact for all INTERPOL matters, coordinating international investigative efforts among member countries and the more than 18,000 local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States.