When you have bleeding, haemostatics will stem the blood flow through accelerating the blood clotting. Uncontrolled haemorrhage is most frequent cause to death that might be prevented on the battle field. Normally we use three different techniques on bleedings, pressure bandage, tourniquets and haemostatics. Haemostatics are relatively unknown, and that is why we should look a little closer into this theme Haemostatic agent (powder and gauze).
When a person bleed a little we just apply pressure, but if the bleeding is heavy we need to do something more. Haemostatics are a natural choice. When a person applies haemostatics into a wound the person also need to apply pressure. In other words: No haemostatics without pressure! The haemostatic agent needs to be applied directly on the damaged blood vessel. If you simply fill the wound with haemostatic agents and press nothing magic will happen; the person will continue to bleed.
Let us dig a little deeper into this topic to start to understand the essence. When you bleed, you bleed because a blood vessel is broken; partial or completely. To stop bleeding this leakage has to be closed. Direct pressure is our first choice, but if the bleeding is too big that will not help much. Then we apply a haemostatic agent directly on the leaking spot of the blood vessel, and after that applying pressure directly on the leak. This will help in most bleedings. If this is not working we might use a tourniquet or directly use one if that is applicable.
It exist many brands of haemostatic agents. Most are a loose granular powder or impregnated into a bandage as a type of gauze. Gauze is easy to target the bleeding, injectors the granular powder help to target the bleeding also, but the loose granular powder might blow away in the wind, drawn to the ground by gravity or get lost in a wound. When the patient reaches the hospital it is easier to clean away the gauze than the powder.
Haemostatic agents works fantastic to coagulate blood, but take care never use this agent in the eyes, brain or meninges, or in the chest or lungs. Another important point is that haemostatics should not be used for more than 24 hours. If you know that it will take more than 24 hours before you reach hospital, you should reconsider the use, or clean the wound.