, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 175-178

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

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Severe, massive bladder haemorrhage is a difficult and often frustrating clinical problem. The aetiologies are numerous and include irradiation, malignancy, severe infection and druginduced 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 adstringent 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 this 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.