Will Your Next Bandage Be Made Of Cured Salt Pork?
A new medical study from the Detroit Medical Center is recommending a remedy to staunch nosebleeds called “nasal packing with strips of cured pork”. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like, using salt pork in the nose, reports Marc Abrahams for The Guardian.
The unusual remedy, published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology by Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin, details the treatment of a girl suffering from a rare hereditary disorder that brings prolonged bleeding.
“Cured salted pork crafted as a nasal tampon and packed within the nasal vaults successfully stopped nasal hemorrhage promptly, effectively, and without sequelae … 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.”
This treatment, the Huffington Post is reporting, may sound like some joke making the rounds of the internet but it has a long history of use and was long considered a folk remedy, with medical professionals only intermittently recommending it.
In 1976, Dr. Jan Weisberg of Great Lakes, Illinois wrote a letter to the journal Archives of Otolaryngology, bragging that he, together with a Drs. Strother and Newton, had been “privileged” to treat a man “for epistaxis secondary to Rendu-Osler-Weber disease”, an inherited problem in which blood vessels develop abnormally.
Dr. Henry Beinfield in Brooklyn, New York, published a treatise in 1953 called General Principles in Treatment of Nasal Hemorrhage. Beinfield explains, “Salt pork placed in the nose and allowed to remain there for about five days has been used, but the method is rather old-fashioned.”
In 1940, Dr. AJ Cone of the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, praised the method in a paper called Use of Salt Pork in Cases of Hemorrhage.
Cone wrote of the treatment, saying, “it has not been uncommon in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital service to have a child request that salt pork be inserted in his nose with the first sign of a nosebleed … Wedges of salt pork have saved a great deal of time and energy when used in controlling nasal hemorrhage, as seen in cases of leukemia, hemophilia … hypertension … measles or typhoid fever and during the third stage of labor”.
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