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Br Dent J. 1998 Feb; 184(4): 187-90.

A randomised trial of calcium alginate swabs to control blood loss in 3-5-year-old children.

Henderson NJ, Crawford PJ, Reeves BC.

Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, London.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of calcium alginate swabs and traditional cotton swabs in the control of blood loss after extraction of deciduous teeth from healthy children, aged 3-5 years, under general anaesthetic. DESIGN: Prospective, randomised clinical trial. SETTING: General anaesthetic suite in a dental teaching hospital. SUBJECTS: 101 patients were recruited to the study, comprising 50 randomised to be treated with cotton swabs and 51 with alginate swabs. INTERVENTIONS: Teeth were extracted under general anaesthesia and blood collected for measurement in order to compare blood loss using the two systems. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The number of teeth extracted ranged from 1-14. The total blood loss ranged from 0.53-78.13 ml with a median of 12.9 ml. CONCLUSION: Calcium alginate swabs were not found to produce any clinical or statistical advantage over traditional cotton swabs in this surgical setting.

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