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Afrin Nasal Spray Helped Stop Persistent Bleeding

Putting a vasoconstrictor such as Afrin Nasal Spray on a cut or scrape can help shrink blood vessels and reduce bleeding.

There are a number of home remedies that readers have found helpful in staunching bleeding from a simple cut. If you look this website over, you will find many testimonials to the ability of ground black pepper or even cayenne pepper to help stop bleeding. Other people are enthusiastic about the ability of coffee grounds-fresh or used-to slow blood flow.  Even ground sage leaves, seaweed and pot marigold leaves have their proponents.

Relief from the Pharmacy:

A number of drugstore products have been specifically designed for this task. QR WoundSeal is sold as a first aid powder. QuikClot and BloodSTOP are other products that help stop bleeding. But this reader found that a product designed for a completely different purpose worked beautifully:

Q. I was out of town this week and suffered a large cut on my left index finger from a sharp piece of metal. I held pressure on it constantly but could not stop the steady bleeding. I purchased a styptic stick and diligently applied it for more than 30 minutes to no avail.

Afrin Nasal Spray to the Rescue:

After over two hours of bleeding, I went to Walgreen’s and spoke with a pharmacist. He said it might sound silly, but I should get an Afrin Nasal Spray bottle and apply the nose spray directly to the cut, or wrap a tissue soaked in the spray on that finger. He said it might require several applications to be effective. The pharmacist also said this would not stop the bleeding, per se, but would constrict the blood vessels and prevent blood from seeping.

I followed his instructions and the bleeding stopped in about 15 minutes. Perhaps you are aware of this home remedy, but the wife and I, both retired health care professionals, were not. Please pass this on to your readers.

A. Thanks for sharing. This is also new to us, but it makes sense because the ingredient in Afrin is oxymetazoline, a vasoconstrictor.

Vasoconstrictor Action:

A vasoconstrictor causes blood vessels to shrink. This is actually why it works to ease breathing when the nasal passages are congested: by shrinking swollen blood vessels, Afrin Nasal Spray and similar products shrink that very well-supplied tissue, which leaves more space in the nose for air to come and go.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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