Common Drug Found Effective in Reducing Death by Bleeding

by Dr. Nithin Jayan on  April 6, 2011 at 4:51 PM Health Watch
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Tranexamic acid, an easily available and cheap drug, can reduce death by bleeding, says new study. Intense bleeding following an accident is responsible for massive loss of lives; this fact renders treatment during the first hour critical. Arresting blood loss is of prime importance. Rapid treatment with tranexamic acid can save patients with severe bleeding whether from accidents or violence.
Common Drug Found Effective in Reducing Death by Bleeding
Common Drug Found Effective in Reducing Death by Bleeding

Tranexamic acid is a common drug that can effectively reduce the bleeding and bring down mortality by 10 per cent. It is widely available in India. It has been in vogue for treating heavy menstrual periods. An international study called the 'CRASH-2 trial' now supports its use in saving lives in severe traumatic bleeding. The drug arrests bleeding by aiding blood clot. The body has clotting mechanisms to control bleeds. However, this natural method gets tampered following severe trauma due to accidents resulting in heavy bleeding.

The trial found that administration of tranexamic acid within an hour of injury significantly reduced risk of dying due to bleeding. It aids in attaining hemostasis. The timing of drug therapy is of utmost importance since it was found that, administration of the drug beyond 3 or 4 hours may cause no benefit or even harm. Treatment given between one and three hours was found to cut the risk of bleeding to death by 20% when compared with placebo. Given more than three hours after injuryTranexamic acid could raise the risk of death.

"Tranexamic acid should be given as early as possible to bleeding trauma patients", the authors write. The finding was reported be The Lancet, a leading medical journal. Early treatment within an hour of injury reduced the risk of death due to bleeding by more than 30 per cent.

The finding can bring about revolutionary changes in treatment protocols. An hour can make the difference between life and death. The very fact that a drug which is cheap and readily available can save lives is a boon to a developing economy like ours that losses tremendous number lives to accidents. The potential of the drug can be used in accidents, wars, or practically any event that cause fatal bleeds. 

"Tranexamic acid should be given as early as possible to bleeding trauma patients. For trauma patients admitted late after injury, tranexamic acid is less effective and could be harmful", write the authors.

Source: The Lancet

Source: Medindia

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