Bmj Usa: Letter


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 18 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E4
  1. Jim Latona, hospital pharmacist (
  1. Royal Lancaster Infirmary, UK
  2. Port-of-Spain General Hospital, University of the West Indies, Trinidad
  3. Centre for Remote Health, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
  4. Somerville, Mass, USA

    This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

    Editor—CK Pager is correct in identifying the mechanism of blood staining as being erythrocyte lysis. The correct mechanism to prevent permanent staining is to prevent erythrocyte lysis. The lysis occurs when erythrocytes are exposed to hypotonic solutions like water.

    The correct way to treat blood stains is to apply a hypertonic saline solution and provide gentle agitation in order that the cell structure is preserved. The cells can then be rinsed away to rupture somewhere …

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