Surgicel is an oxidized cellulose hemostatic agent used to control bleeding. It creates a physical barrier to blood loss while promoting localized vasoconstriction and platelet aggregation within the matrix of fibers. Furthermore, due to a localized drop in pH (acidosis), Surgicel provides some degree of bactericidal activity.
As a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, I’ll use Surgicel to reinforce invasive monitoring lines in coagulopathic patients who will become even more coagulopathic after systemic heparinization for cardiopulmonary bypass. As an intensivist, I’ll routinely wrap drains and chest tubes at the skin insertion site underneath the rest of my dressing (Xeroform, Tegaderm, etc.)