Haemostatic products as a potential therapy for vesicant-contaminated wounds
Published on Dec 1, 2012
There is potential for haemorrhaging injuries that become contaminated with toxic chemicals e.g. sulphur mustard (SM). There are no specific medical countermeasures for such injuries at present. It is proposed that haemostats could simultaneously stop bleeding and decontaminate wounds. Products must be able to clot SM-contaminated blood and reduce SM percutaneous absorption to be considered suitable. Sulphur mustard did not significantly affect coagulation in vitro or in vivo. Overall SM did not affect the pro-coagulatory function of haemostats. However, clot strength in WoundStat™ treated blood was adversely affected by SM in vitro. Superficial damage to the skin significantly increased the percutaneous absorption of SM with good agreement between in vitro and in vivo studies. Moreover, the altered toxicodynamics imply that the latent period associated with SM pathology is due, in part, to rate of absorption and not solely caused by biochemical pathways. Application of WoundStat™ significantly reduced the amount and rate of SM penetration through the skin in vitro. Furthermore, WoundStat™ reduced SM percutaneous absorption and pathology in vivo. Microarray analysis has identified that SM exposure via damaged skin causes changes in gene expression which may warrant further investigation as potential therapeutic targets.