Major haemorrhage is a catastrophic complication occurring in 3–4 per cent of head and neck cancer patients. Massive haemorrhage also causes 50 per cent of preventable deaths in combat situations. There has been a surge of interest in the development of effective haemostatic products in the military, with chitosan being one such product.
A 48-year-old lady presented with a life-threatening head and neck bleed. She was known to have a malignant peripheral nerve sheath sarcoma originating from the left parapharyngeal space. Bleeding was successfully controlled with the application of Celox™ granules, a chitosan-based product currently used in the military.
This paper describes the first known use of a military haemostatic agent to control a malignant head and neck bleed. Celox granules can be poured directly onto a wound to enhance haemorrhage control. The suggested mechanism of action and reports of current uses of haemostatic agents are described.