Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Streptokinase versus alteplase and other treatments for acute and delayed thrombolysis of blood stains in clothing

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1554

Rapid Response:

Ask your pharmacist


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 else.

I would reccommend that all doctors be equipped with a strong salt
solution to apply immediately to the offending stains.

I am in no way connected to or sponsored by the salt industry.

Yours faithfully
Jim Latona

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 December 2000
Jim Latona
Hospital Pharmacist
Royal Lancaster Infirmary