Haemostats 04 Introduction

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Haemostats 04 Introduction

Under construction 04 08 07

This subsection has text and images from an interactive multimedia training program on basic surgical skills called 
PrimeSkills in Surgery.
You can use this subsection on its own or follow the whole program (further details at the end of this subsection).

After following the last Section, you should now be able to use scissors very skilfully.

In this Section, you see how to build on these skills using different instruments.

In addition you will learn to use the ratchet device which is a key feature of the haemostat family of instruments.

By the end of this Section you should be able to:

Open and shut a haemostat.

Using either hand.

At any point of the compass.

Quickly and accurately.

Learn short runs of moves to help the surgeon while assisting.

Uses of a haemostat/ artery forcep.

A haemostat is used to:

Grasp or crush arteries, as the name suggests, and also to do the same to veins and various ducts.

Grasp tissue such as aponeuroses and fascia.

Hold the ends of sutures.

Dissect tissue planes and spaces.

Types of haemostat


There is a wide range of basic haemostats, usually with a surgeon's name or institution attached.

They often have very minor differences of shape and feel, suiting different surgeons' preferences and different operations.

Any one design is often produced in sizes ranging from about 13cm (5 inches) to about 25cm (10 inches, with either straight or

curved jaws.

The Halsted mosquito forcep, on the far left of the picture, lies at the smaller and lighter end of the basic

haemostat family.

This forcep is used particularly for operations on children and infants and on the more delicate tissues of adults, such as some

minor varicose veins.

The straight jawed Kelly Crile forcep, next on the left, is a standard sized haemostat

The curved Spencer Wells forcep, the third forcep from the left, is slightly heavier and larger, which suits many surgeons.

The fourth forcep is heavier and larger still (25cm) but retains the basic forcep design.

Specialisation has led to redesign of "haemostats", for example for cholecystectomies, major arteries and bowel.

The variations come from changes in the design of the jaws and handles.

The principles of the use of these more sophisticated forceps are, however, essentially those of standard haemostats.

Next subsection, click on Haemostats 05 Parts
Last subsection, click on  Haemostats 03 Equipment and materials
Surgical Education and Training page, click on Surgical Education and Training
Whole program on WikiSurgery, click on PrimeSkills in Surgery
Whole program on CD-ROM, click on Michael Edwards