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article imageNosebleed? Detroit docs can cure it with a pork 'nasal tampon'

By Tucker Cummings     Jan 25, 2012 in Health
Detroit - Doctors in Detroit, Michigan are now advocating an offbeat way to treat nosebleeds. All you need to do is stick a "nasal tampon" made from salted, cured pork up your nostrils.
A group of doctors working at Detroit Medical Centre in Michigan have published their findings in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology. The bacon tampon technique was recently used to treat a young girl with a rare blood disorder and chronic nosebleeds.
"Cured salted pork crafted as a nasal tampon and packed within the nasal vaults successfully stopped nasal hemorrhage promptly," the doctors wrote. "To our knowledge, this represents the first description of nasal packing with strips of cured pork for treatment of life-threatening hemorrhage in a patient with Glanzmann thrombasthenia."
Surprisingly, this use of "medical pork" isn't new: doctors had previously used the technique to treat different disorders in 1940, 1953, and 1976.
According to Dr. Ivan Humphreys, these nasal tampons are preferable to other medical options for treating certain blood disorders, as some treatments include side effects like blindness.
However, Dr. Humphreys cautions that the technique shouldn't be tried at home. "There is a risk of bacterial and perhaps parasitic infection...but when used in conjunction with medical personnel, antibiotics and expert knowledge and experience, we showed in this particular case that it was safe and that it was effective."
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