Hemostasis is a fundamental principle in surgical technic. It can be satisfactorily obtained in most instances by ligature, clips, pressure, electrocoagulation and packs. There are some situations, however, in which venous or capillary bleeding may be difficult to control by these methods. This is especially true of neurosurgical operations in which bleeding from the dura, the brain or the spinal meninges may be especially troublesome. This also obtains in many instances of general surgical procedures, such as operations on liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, thyroid, bone, chest and female generative tract, in which conventional hemostatic methods may not be adequate. Ways and means of obtaining better hemostasis in such circumstances would constitute a substantial improvement in the general technic of surgery.
The major recent advances in the problem of control of capillary and venous oozing have been the development of coagulating agents, such as thrombin, and the use of absorbable substances
JENKINS HP, CLARKE JS. GELATIN SPONGE, A NEW HEMOSTATIC SUBSTANCESTUDIES ON ABSORBABILITY. Arch Surg. 1945;51(4):253-261. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1945.01230040262005