Hemostatic cotton wool


Hemostatic cotton can help with superficial bleeding and especially with nosebleeds. This natural product can be used as self-medication, gels with the exiting blood and thus promotes coagulation.

Indications for hemostatic cotton wool

Hemostatic cotton wool is mainly used in your own small medicine cabinet. In the case of light, superficial bleeding, patients can simply remove some cotton wool from the pack with clean tweezers and apply it to the wound (e.g. superficial abrasions or cuts). The hemostatic cotton wool activates blood clotting and can thus quickly stop the bleeding. In addition, it does not stick to the wound and is therefore easy to remove. It used to be typical to use hemostatic cotton for nosebleeds. The cotton wool can be inserted directly into the nostrils here and prevents blood from escaping. The above-mentioned additional activation of blood coagulation can quickly bring relief to the patient. The cold in the neck also has a supportive effect (e.g. in the form of wet rags or ice packs or cooling compresses). It should be noted that, according to official guidelines, hemostatic cotton is no longer part of the standard of care. However, many patients continue to use it. Hemostatic cotton is also used in the dental field and is used, for example, when removing wisdom teeth. The cotton wool often remains in the patient's mouth after the procedure and should be removed after a few hours, depending on what has been agreed. However, further treatment with hemostatic cotton wool on your own is not recommended and should be discussed with the dentist.

This article might also interest you: Hemostasis - The quickest way to stop bleeding

How does hemostatic cotton work?

Hemostatic cotton wool is a natural product, which in domestic use usually consists of the so-called Calcium alginate fibers which are obtained from algae. The wadding is packaged sterile and can then be easily removed by the patient with clean tweezers and cut off with scissors.

The algae change their consistency when they come into contact with blood and become gel-like. This and the stimulation of blood clotting can close the wound.

Are There Side Effects of Hemostatic Cotton?

There are currently no known adverse effects from the use of hemostatic cotton. The cotton is not pure Calcium algintate and contains as an addition Benzalkonium chloride, hypersensitivity can be triggered.

When should you not use hemostatic cotton?

Seen in this light, there are no contraindications for hemostatic cotton. The only thing to remember is that it is only suitable for superficial wounds and light bleeding. In the case of deep cuts, abrasions and the like, hemostasis should be achieved with a temporary (pressure) bandage and a doctor should be consulted immediately. The same applies to nosebleeds - if bleeding is not stopped in the near future, a doctor should be consulted!

What does hemostatic cotton cost?

Hemostatic cotton wool is offered over the counter in pharmacies by several representatives. A jar with 2g of cotton wool costs around 9 euros.

What alternative aids can be used to stop bleeding?

There are numerous alternatives for the hemostatic cotton wool. A simple plaster is often enough for light bleeding and superficial wounds. If necessary, a sterile compress can also be used. If you have a nosebleed, it is often sufficient to sit up straight, tilt your head forward and use your thumb and forefingers to pinch the front nostrils for a few minutes. Cold on the neck or sucking ice cubes can also help. If the bleeding cannot be stopped in this way, a doctor can, for example, resort to a nasal packing or burn the bleeding vessel. As a rule, however, these measures are not required. It is important to note that when you have a nosebleed your head must not be put back, as otherwise the blood can get into the throat and lead to vomiting or even a risk of suffocation!