Antihemorrhagic

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An antihemorrhagic (antihaemorrhagic) agent is a substance that promotes hemostasis (stops bleeding).[1] It may also be known as a hemostatic (also spelled haemostatic) agent.[2]

A styptic (also spelled stiptic) is a specific type of antihemorrhagic agent that works by contracting tissue to seal injured blood vessels. Styptic pencils contain astringents.[3]

Antihemorrhagic agents used in medicine have various mechanisms of action:

Systemic[edit]

There are several classes of antihemorrhagic drugs used in medicine. These include antifibrinolytics, blood coagulation factors, fibrinogen, and vitamin K.[citation needed]

Local[edit]

Topical hemostatic agents have been gaining popularity for use in emergency bleeding control, especially in military medicine. They are available in two forms—as a granular powder poured on wounds, or embedded in a dressing.[citation needed]

Organic[edit]

Microfibrillar collagen[edit]

Microfibrillar collagen hemostat (MCH) is a topical agent composed of resorbable microfibrillar collagen. It attracts platelets and allows for the formation of a blood clot when it comes into contact with blood. Unlike the hemostatic clamp, no mechanical action is involved. The surgeon presses the MCH against a bleeding site, and the collagen attracts and helps with the clotting process to eventually stop bleeding.[citation needed]

The practical application for MCH is different from that of the hemostatic clamp.[citation needed]

Chitosan[edit]

Chitosan hemostats are topical agents composed of chitosan and its salts. Chitosan bonds with platelets and red blood cells to form a gel-like clot which seals a bleeding vessel. Unlike other hemostat technologies its action does not require the normal hemostatic pathway and therefore continues to function even when anticoagulants like heparin are present.[citation needed]

Chitosan is used in some emergency hemostats which are designed to stop traumatic life-threatening bleeding. Their use is well established in many military and trauma units.[citation needed]

Chemical[edit]

Hemostatic chemicals use Chitosan in commercial products such as roll gauzes and granular powders. Zeolite, for example is used in QuikClot, a dressing.[citation needed]

Styptics[edit]

Styptic pencil
Alum block and razor

Styptics cause hemostasis by contracting blood vessels.

A common delivery system for this is a styptic or hemostatic pencil (not to be confused with a caustic pencil). This is a short stick of medication, anhydrous aluminium sulfate, this is the main ingredient that acts as a vasoconstrictor in order to disable blood flow which is applied directly to the bleeding site. The high ionic strength promotes flocculation of the blood, and the astringent chemical causes local vasoconstriction. Before safety razors were invented, it was a standard part of a shaving kit and was used to seal shaving cuts.[4] Some people continue to use styptic pencils for minor skin wounds from safety or electric razors.[4]

Today, styptics exist in a variety of forms. In February 2013, the Wall Street Journal published an article discussing disposable matchstick versions of the styptic pencil created by men's luxury grooming brand, HOMMAGE.[5]

Styptic powder is used in the veterinary trade to stop bleeding from nails that are clipped too closely. This powder is generally used on animals, such as birds, cats, dogs, and rabbits, whose vein is found in the center of the nail.[citation needed]

In culture and media[edit]

Officials hunting Christopher Dorner found QuickClot in the truck Dorner had stolen, crashed into a snowbank, and abandoned at Big Bear.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "antihemorrhagic" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "hemostat" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ "astringent" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  4. ^ a b Styptic Pencil - what is and why do I need to use a styptic pencil
  5. ^ Minal Mistry (February 1, 2013). "Man's (Shaving) Best Friend". Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ Christopher Goffard, Joel Rubin, and Kurt Streeter; Illustrations by Doug Stevens (December 8, 2013). "The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner, Chapter 5: The Mountain". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]