What Is a Curved Hemostat?

Cindy Quarters

A hemostat is a type of clamping device that is commonly used to stop bleeding during surgical procedures. Hemostats come in a variety of types, with the two most common being the straight hemostat and the curved hemostat. These handy devices are popular not only for medical procedures, but also may be used by hobbyists to hold small items.

Surgical tools need to be sterilized and prepped for the next surgery.
Surgical tools need to be sterilized and prepped for the next surgery.

A curved hemostat consists of two long shafts of stainless-steel that are hinged together to work something like scissors or pliers, but ending in a curved section. An essential difference with the hemostat is that it has a locking mechanism between the two handle pieces, allowing it to be locked closed. The lock consists of two metal tabs, one on each side of the handles, that have tiny teeth on them. When the curved hemostat is clamped onto something, the teeth allow for it to be closed and held with varying degrees of pressure, a useful feature when working with delicate veins and arteries.

A hemostat is a clamping device that is used during surgical procedures to stop bleeding.
A hemostat is a clamping device that is used during surgical procedures to stop bleeding.

There are different styles of hemostats because surgeons often need to reach into awkward places to clamp off blood vessels that are bleeding during surgery. A curved hemostat can reach into and under places more easily than a straight hemostat can. Using a curved hemostat also allows a surgeon to grab arteries and veins that have receded slightly after being cut and clamp them to stop the bleeding immediately.

Curved hemostats are not all the same. Some of them have long, curved sections where the curved portion is almost half the length of the hemostat, while others are straight until the very end then curve up sharply. All of them have small gripping teeth at the working end of the tool, to allow them to maintain a hold on almost anything, no matter how slippery it might be.

Hobbyists often use curved hemostats to assist them in various endeavors. Reptile handlers use long ones to feed their pets, so that they don’t need to put their hands in biting range &mdasg; or hold live, squirmy reptile food in their fingers. Fishermen find curved hemostats handy for removing fish hooks from the mouths and throats of fish. Those who enjoy fly fishing often use curved hemostats as an extra hand, to hold the hook while they add feathers and other items to create artificial flies. Whatever the reason they are used, curved hemostats are an aid to gripping and holding all kinds of tiny, slippery, sharp or squirmy things.

Hemostatic forceps are used to control bleeding.
Hemostatic forceps are used to control bleeding.

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