Clotting Drug May Save 100K Lives a Year

LONDON, June 15 (UPI) — A trial shows injured patients with severe bleeding given tranexamic acid, a clotting drug, do not appear to have adverse effects, a British researcher says.

Dr. Ian Roberts of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says the drug was believed advantageous in injured patients with severe bleeding but doctors were concerned it may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and clots in the lungs.

The drug has been successful in reducing bleeding during surgery but a randomized trial named CRASH-2 — involving more than 20,000 adult patients in 274 hospitals in 40 countries — showed tranexamic acid reduced death from bleeding without any increase in blood clotting complications.

The results of the trial were published in The Lancet.

“Each year about 600,000 injured patients bleed to death worldwide,” Roberts says in a statement. “Injuries may be accidental, for example traffic crashes, or intentional, such as shootings, stabbings or land mine injuries and the majority of deaths occur soon after injury. Although most deaths from injuries are in developing countries, injury is a leading cause of death in young adults throughout the world.”

The research team estimated the drug, when given soon after injury, could prevent up to 100,000 deaths per year worldwide.

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