Bloody Good Stuff QR brand powders claim to halt bleeding immediately and form an instant scab when applied to cuts and scrapes. Produced by Biolife of Sarasota, Fla., QR (for "quick relief") has been used by sports teams and hospitals for a few years. It debuted as a retail product in 2002, and is now widely available in four formulations, including one for staunching nosebleeds.

The Hard Facts As Biolife president Doug Goodwin explains, when QR's two main ingredients -- a hydrophilic ("water-loving") polymer and potassium salt -- mix with blood, the whole mess hardens to form a scab (a brand-name one, no less: Hematrix). The stuff also works as an antibacterial, Goodwin says, so surface wounds don't need to be disinfected before QR's applied. Like a generic scab, a Hematrix drops off a few days later.

A Cut AboveQR is meant to be sprinkled right on a cut -- the goopier, the better. (Blood activates it.) Unlike cauterization, a common medical means of stopping bleeding that involves burning tissue, QR doesn't damage the skin. Goodwin said it can be useful to hemophiliacs and others prone to excessive bleeding, especially now that they can buy their own little packs and carry them around.

Field Test Eric Waters, the new head athletic trainer with the Washington Wizards, has used QR powder and likes it. "These guys get scraped with fingernails, and they bleed. You ultimately want to clean and dress the wound and stop the bleeding, but sometimes you don't have the luxury of time." In Waters's experience, QR not only stopped bleeding but also "formed a crusty coating." Since it's a disinfectant, he says, "there's no need to pour peroxide and triple antibiotics" on the wound. Game-time cuts can be treated "all in one move -- in 10 seconds, really." QR "stuck to the sweat really well," he says.

The Price QR products are sold at CVS, Wal-Mart and other stores for prices ranging from about $5 to $8.

-- Jennifer Huget