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Is rubbing alcohol and anticoagulant

  1. Mar 16, 2008 #1
    Question as stated. Just wondering because when i get cuts i put rubbing alcohol on it, but i have come to believe that that does not help the bleeding to stop.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2008 #2


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    You put alcohol on a cut to disinfect it, not to stop the bleeding. While you're cleaning a wound, you're physically washing away the clot, so it will continue bleeding until you stop messing with it (but in some cases, letting it bleed for a little while is beneficial for helping flush out any contaminants, as long as it's not so much that you're risking your health with blood loss).
  4. Mar 16, 2008 #3


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    I don't know about direct application to a wound, but I can tell you as an alcoholic that drinking alcohol (not the rubbing variety) thins the blood and will thus prolong bleeding.
  5. Mar 17, 2008 #4

    Do you know why drinking alcohol thins the blood, What is the mechanism? thanks
  6. Mar 17, 2008 #5
    I also wondered why people say to drink alcohol when you are cold, i thought that was a myth and that you may feel warmer but because of the thinner blood it's actually bad for you. anyone know about this?
  7. Mar 17, 2008 #6


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    Alcohol is a vasodilator. It causes your arteries to relax, increasing blood to your extremities and other non-survival-critical organs such as your stomach, making them flush with warmth.

    This may make you feel better short-term, but it is actually a bad idea in principle. The reason your extremities are cold is because your body is shutting down blood-supply to non-core organs in an attempt to keep your core temperature stable. Losing core temp. is what will kill you, not frozen limbs.

    Alcohol completely defeats this natural life-saving defense.

    The upshot is that alocohol will only help you warm up if you are not in danger of suffering from hypothermia.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
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