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New Products to Help
Stop Bleeding Quickly

July 3, 2007; Page D6

New advances in technologies that stem bleeding have been saving lives in emergency rooms and the war in Iraq. Now similar advances are being used in consumer products that treat bleeding, including powders, bandages and nose plugs. The makers of these products say they help stanch bleeding from cuts, nosebleeds and more-serious wounds. Doctors say many of the products promote clotting, but caution that deep cuts, or those where tendons are damaged, still require medical attention.

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Consumers have long used styptic pencils, known for their sting, to treat minor cuts, like those from an extra-close shave. Now an array of products can stem bleeding from larger wounds. In general, you still need to apply pressure to the wound but the products are designed to speed the process. As always, wash the wound first.

QuikClot Sport, a consumer version of a product used to save soldiers' lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, just went on sale from Z-Medica Corp., of Wallingford, Conn. It's a porous sack filled with a highly absorbent mineral from lava rocks. You place it on the wound and it pulls the water from the blood, leaving behind clot-forming platelets.

QR, sold by Biolife LLC of Sarasota, Fla., is a powder sprinkled on wounds. Used in emergency rooms by the bottle, the consumer version involves single-use blister packs. The powder is made from tiny plastic beads and potassium salt that react with blood to quickly form an artificial scab.

Several bandage and gauze products made from cellulose are designed to form a gel-like substance when they come in contact with blood, speeding clotting. BloodStop, a bandage sold under the CVS private label, contains microdispersed oxidized cellulose, or m.doc, which is supplied by Alltracel Pharmaceuticals PLC of Dublin.

LifeScience Plus Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., sells a gauze product made from cellulose that's also called BloodStop. LifeScience says it has trademarked the brand name and has asked CVS's distributor to stop using it. The distributor, NutraMax Products Inc. of Gloucester, Mass., says it had been using that name for more than six months before it heard from LifeScience.

Most of the products can be used for nosebleeds. QR powder has a a special applicator for that purpose, while other products can be wadded up the nose. An alternative is NasalCease, which is a single-use bundle of fine fibers made from brown seaweed extract that can be placed in the nose. Catalina Healthcare, a Mendon, N.Y., company that sells the product, says it aids clotting and also absorbs a large quantity of blood without leaking.

There are few, if any, published scientific studies on the consumer products, but some doctors give them high marks. "They are very good and very cost-effective," says James Adams, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Adams, who has no relationship to any company selling blood-stopping products, adds that he particularly likes the QR powder. "You get an immediate scab," he adds.

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