From Afghanistan to the ambulance: the warzone drug that will save hundreds of lives

The first drug approved under new 'medicines innovation scheme', TXA can stem fatal bleeding

A drug used to treat wounded soldiers in Afghanistan is to be fast-tracked for use in the NHS to help the victims of road traffic accidents and violent crime.

Click HERE to view 'how the new drug works' graphic

Under the plans, paramedics will be issued with supplies of the drug TXA, which has been successfully used by the British military to treat combat wounds from which 'death is imminent'.

The drug is the first to be approved under the Government's new 'medicines innovation scheme,' designed to speed up the adoption of promising medication for use in the NHS.

Ambulance crews working in the south-west of England already have access to TXA as part of a trial. The decision by the Department of Health means it will now be rolled out across the NHS starting this month.

The move comes after an international study suggested that the drug could save almost 300 lives a year if it was licensed for civilian use in Britain.

The drug, which acts to stem excessive bleeding, reduced the overall risk of death by 10 per cent, and the chances of dying due to bleeding by 15 per cent, the study showed.

More than four million people around the world die from injuries every year, of whom half die in hospital. A total of 600,000 deaths are as a result of bleeding after those injuries.

In Britain, TXA could prevent about 280 of the 1,800 deaths that occur each year as a result of bleeding after injury.

The CRASH2 study, which was partly funded by the Department of Health and led by doctors from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggests that TXA should be used as a rapid intervention in all such cases.

At present, the drug is used for patients undergoing non-emergency surgery, haemophiliacs and to treat women with heavy periods. It is not licensed to be used by paramedics or in hospitals for the victims of accidents.

But given its potential, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, intends to make TXA the first drug to be assessed under a new scheme to promote innovative uses for drugs outside their original authorisation. The scheme will be fully running by summer.

Mr Lansley said: "The successful use of this drug to help some of our most seriously wounded troops in Afghanistan really shows the wide potential it has for our civilian emergency services.

"I'll be asking it to be assessed under a new scheme, which aims to encourage more innovative life-saving developments into the NHS."

The study involved adults in 274 hospitals who had suffered traumatic injuries. Participants received either two milligrams of TXA, also known by the brand name Cyklokapron, administered by an injection and drip or an inactive placebo treatment. In total, 489 (4.9 per cent of) patients in the TXA group bled to death compared with 574 (5.7 per cent) in the placebo group.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

    Recruitment Genius: General Processor

    £7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

    Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot