St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is pioneering the use of a new piece of surgical equipment that can control severe bleeding within seconds of being applied.

The hospital’s emergency department has used the iTClamp twice to save patients’ lives in recent weeks.

The 5cm clamp seal the edges of a wound creating a small cavity for blood which clots and prevents further bleeding. This reduces blood loss until the patient undergoes surgery.

To date, medical staff have used blood clotting powders and treated bandages to stem haemorrhaging which is a major cause of death in major trauma cases.

Dr Anthony Hudson, the first clinician to use the clamps in the UK, said: “The clamps are like a lady’s hair clip that pinches the skin together and helps the blood coagulate.

“I treated a patient who’d fallen on some glass and had a 6cm throat wound. The clamps are practical and easy to use which is ideal in an emergency situation.

“They are particularly helpful in treating bleeding scalp injuries and injuries like stab wounds as long as the injury isn’t over an underlying cavity like the chest.”

St George’s in the first emergency department in the UK to use the new Canadian produced equipment.

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About St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in the UK. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.
  • St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is home to one of four major trauma centres, one of eight hyper acute stroke units and one of the biggest and busiest of the seven heart attack centres in the capital.
  • The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology, cancer and blood pressure services and is the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.
  • In 2012 the trust was named by the Dr Foster report for the Department of Health in the group of trusts with the lowest mortality rates in the country. The trust was one of only 16 in the country to have statistically significant lower than expected mortality rates.