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

Styptics (also spelled stiptics) are a specific type of antihemorrhagic agent that work by contracting tissue to seal injured blood vessels. Styptic pencils contain astringents.

Antihemorrhagic agents used in medicine have various mechanisms of action:


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


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.


As a kind of hybrid of local and systemic, topical hemostatic bandage D-Stat Dry is medicated with thrombin coagulation factor.

Microfibrillar collagen

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.

The practical application for MCH is different from that of the hemostatic clamp. It is not possible, for example, to stop a severed artery from gushing blood by using a patch of MCH and wait for the clotting process. The blood vessel must be mechanically clamped and repaired.


New technology employs the use of plant starch as an effective hemostat in cardiac and vascular surgery. A San Jose, CAmarker-based medical device manufacturer markets a product (PerClot) that is an absorbable, surgical hemostat composed of Absorbable Modified Polymers (AMP). AMP technology incorporates sophisticated, plant-based polymer modification processes that yield biocompatible, polysaccharide particles. There is no thrombin, collagen, or other human or animal components in AMP particles. A family of customized, single-use application instruments will enhance the delivery of AMP to the wound site for the control of capillary, venous and arterial bleeding in both open and minimally invasive surgical procedures. Hemostasis is typically achieved rapidly after using AMP products. An instant dehydration of the blood causes a concentration of red blood cells, platelets and other coagulation proteins that creates a gelled matrix and the formation of a durable clot at the wound site. Following hemostasis, irrigation of the particles by normal saline rinse is recommended. The AMP particles are easily dissolved naturally within several days. Starch Medical, Inc. has a proprietary technology platform that includes powders, foams, and films.


There are currently two hemostatic chemicals used in commercial products. Chitosan is used in Celox (a granular powder) and HemCon (a dressing). Zeolite is used in QuikClot (a dressing).


Styptic pencil
A styptic or hemostatic pencil (not to be confused with a caustic pencil) is a short stick of medication, usually anhydrous aluminum sulfate (a type of alum) or titanium dioxide, which is used for stanching blood by causing blood vessels to contract at the site of the wound. Before safety razors were invented, it was an essential part of a shaving kit and was used to seal cuts caused by improper shaving. Some people continue to use styptic pencils for minor skin wounds from safety or electric razors.

A similar substance, styptic powder, is used to stop bleeding from nails that are clipped too closely. This powder is generally used on animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds, where the vein is found in the center of the nail.

See also


  2. Styptic Pencil - what is and why do I need to use a styptic pencil

External links

Medical hemostatic agents

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