Haemostats 05 Parts

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Haemostats 05 Parts

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).


Haemostats/artery forceps consist of jaws, joints, handles, and ratchets.


The jaws compress the tissue instead of cutting it as scissors do.

So adjacent surfaces of the jaws are flat.

The jaws have intermeshing transverse ridges over some or all of their length to increase grip on tissue or sutures.

Haemostats are no good for holding needles, because the ridges are inadequate to prevent needles swivelling and rotating in the


The jaws are tapered to narrow tips to minimise the amount of tissue held in the forceps.

The jaws are often curved to improve handling (see on), and to facilitate suture tying (see on).


Haemostats must not have any shearing action, since this would weaken the power of the jaws.

The joint may be a simple screw joint as for scissors.

If there is any looseness in this type of joint, then shearing can occur.

Better quality haemostats have a box joint which prevents any shearing.



The handles are straight and have the same type of finger rings as scissors.

The handles are 4 or more times longer than the jaws to give a very high pressure on the tissues.



The ratchet is an important difference between scissors and haemostats.

It allows the jaws to hold the tissues at a chosen pressure without effort from the user.

There is a toothed ratchet bar on each handle. . 01430030 Using ratchet on haemostat.gif

Next subsection, click on Haemostats 06 How haemostats work
Last subsection, click on  Haemostats 04 Introduction 
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