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Pharm Weekbl Sci. 1989 Oct 20;11(5):175-8.

The use of an alum irrigation in the treatment of massive bladder haemorrhage.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Severe, massive bladder haemorrhage is a difficult and often frustrating clinical problem. The aetiologies are numerous and include irradiation, malignancy, severe infection and drug-induced changes. Among the numerous modalities of treatment that have been reported formalin, phenol and silver nitrate instillations have often been associated with significant side effects, morbidity and mortality and have had varying degrees of success. During the last two years we have used continuous closed irrigation of a sterile 0.5% alum solution in 16 patients. Alum is an astringent and acts by protein precipitation over the bleeding surface. Because of a low cell permeability its action is limited to the cell surface and interstitial spaces. The permeability of the cell membrane is reduced but remains viable. The preparation and the pharmaceutical aspects of the 0.5% alum irrigation will be discussed. The conclusion is that the technique of managing massive bladder haemorrhage is simple, efficient, nontoxic and less expensive than previously reported therapies. Therefore, irrigation with alum before instituting invasive means to control bleeding is recommended.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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