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Schmitz, Christoph and Sodian, Ralf (2015): Use of a plant-based polysaccharide hemostat for the treatment of sternal bleeding after median sternotomy. In: Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 10:59 [PDF, 2MB]

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Background: In cardiac surgery profuse or persistent sternal bleeding after sternotomy is routinely controlled with bone wax. However, bone wax should be avoided, especially in high-risk patients for nonunion of the sternum and infections. Purpose of this study was to evaluate an alternative technique to control bleeding after medium sternotomy using a plant based absorbable polysaccharide hemostat. Methods: A consecutive series of 38 patients requiring median sternotomy for coronary artery bypass surgery (21 OPCAB, 17 CABG) had sternal bleeding control with the polysaccharide hemostat, STARSIL (R) HEMOSTAT. This hemostat is a hydrophilic powder, which achieves hemostasis after topical application at the surgical wound site. Initially it dehydrates blood rapidly, thus accelerating aggregation of platelets and blood solids. Thereafter, it forms a gelled adhesive matrix, which serves as a mechanical barrier against further bleeding. The polysaccharide is completely resorbed within 48 to 72 hours. Results: Satisfactory control of sternal bleeding was observed in 37 patients (97%). No product-related complications were observed or any other major adverse events in an observation period of 3 months. Conclusion: Polysaccharide hemostats appear to be safe and effective for bleeding control of the sternum.

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