A patient on an anticoagulant (blood thinner) may bleed more easily and it may be more difficult to stop bleeding. To help stop bleeding with minor cuts or nosebleeds, several over-the-counter products are available and may be helpful.
- WoundSeal® Formerly called QR (Quick Relief), these products contains a water-loving substance (hydrophilic polymer) and a potassium salt. Together, they work to form an artificial scab over minor cuts. It is available as a powder for skin cuts and as a nasal applicator for nosebleeds. Further information can be found on the company’s website.
- Seal-On® These products contains cellulose and also works by forming a gel-like layer over the cut. It is available as a spray powder, bandage, adhesive or sterile pad, blotter, or nasal sponge. Further information can be found on the company’s website.
- QuikClot® These products to stop bleeding from cuts or nosebleeds are made with a natural mineral called zeolite. Zeolite accelerates the body’s natural clotting mechanism to create a clot. Further information can be found on the company’s website or here.
- BloodSTOP® This is a product made of plant cellulose. When BloodSTOP comes in contact with blood, it forms a clear gel that seals the wound with a protective transparent layer. More information is on the company’s website.
- NasalCEASE® This is made of a bio-polymer called calcium alginate. It provides a surface on which blood can clot. It can be used in the nose for nosebleeds, but als on skin cuts. More information is on the company’s website.
- BleedArrest® The active ingredient in BleedArrest is a natural plant-based polymer, called amylopectin. It provides a surface on which blood can clot. More information is on the company’s website.
- Celox™ Celox granules are large surface area flakes. It is said that when they come in contact with blood, they swell, gel, and stick together to make a gel like clot, which plugs the bleeding site. Celox does not activate the normal clotting cascade. More information can be found on the company’s website.
- Qwick-AID® The Qwick-AID® Multi-Use Hemostatic Bandage is an all-natural composite textile. The three-piece woven bandage contains alginate, with the design meant to stop bleeding quickly and promote wound healing. More information can be found on the company’s website.
- There used to be a product from Johnson & Johnson called Band-Aid Liquid Bandage which was, however, discontinued.
I am not aware of scientific, patient-based, peer reviewed publications on these products, i.e. studies on how good and effective they are. A number of them are being marketed in the most glowing terms – “life saving battlefield technology”, etc – with little or no published data to back up these enthusiastic statements. Products may be available for purchase over-the-counter at pharmacies near the first aid products or can also be purchased through the internet. There may be other products available that I am not aware of . Also, I do not have enough experience with these products to know (a) whether they are effective in patients on blood thinners, and (b) whether one may be more effective than the other.
Q: “I am on warfarin and will be traveling to Africa for a few weeks. Is there anything I can take with me in case I have a cut or a nosebleed that doesn’t want to stop bleeding?”
A: It may be reasonable to take a product along that one can apply for nosebleeds or cuts.
Disclosure: I have no financial disclosures relevant to this post.
Last updated: March 14, 2014
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