One of the workhorse instruments used by surgeons is the hemostatic forcep. Also, know as a “stat”, a “snap”, or a “Wells”, this instrument is placed on tissue to control or stop bleeding.
It is applied with a scissors action and is fashioned in such a way that the tips alone meet when the forceps is closed – the more proximal part of the shafts do not touch.
Hemostats were first used by French surgeon Ambroise Pare (1510-1590). The design was improved by British surgeon Sir Thomas Wells (1818-1897) when the addition of a ratchet was added so they could be locked. The locking mechanism is engaged when the handles are compressed and released by slightly compressing the handles to overcome the ratchet mechanism and then by spreading the handles.
Modern hemostats come in a variety of lengths and range from extremely fine-tipped “mosquitoes” to heavy toothed forceps. They are reusable and can be sterilized using conventional autoclave techniques.
Copyright 2007 InsideSurgery.com