Simple drug could save 100,000 lives each year: Lancet

An easy-to-use blood-clotting drug that costs just a few dollars could save up to 100,000 lives each year from road accidents and violence, according to a paper published on Tuesday by The Lancet.

Doctors at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine tested an off-patent treatment called tranexamic acid (TXA) among 20,000 severely-injured adults in 274 hospitals in 40 countries.

Participants received either one gram of TXA by injection followed by another one gram in a drip over the following eight hours, or a dummy lookalike.

TXA reduced the risk of death by any cause by 10 percent compared with the placebo, the paper said.

When it came to the risk of death by bleeding, TXA scored a reduction of 15 percent over the placebo.

Each year, more than a million people die as a result of traffic injuries, and another 1.6 million die as a result of acts of violence, and many could be saved by swift action to stop haemorrhaging, the researchers said.

"Each year about 600,000 injured patients bleed to death worldwide," said lead author Ian Roberts, a professor of epidemiology.

"Injuries may be accidental, for example, road crashes, or intentional, such as shootings, stabbings or land-mine injuries, and the majority of deaths occur soon after injury."

TXA works by reducing the breakdown of clots. The drug is manufactured by a number of companies, and a gram of it costs about 4.50 dollars.

If TXA became widely available and was used promptly, it could save as many as 100,000 lives a year, 13,000 of them in India and 12,000 in China, where road deaths are surging, the paper said.

"The drug is inexpensive and could be given in hospitals worldwide," said Etienne Krug, director of violence and injury prevention and disability at the UN's World Health Organisation (WHO).

"It is essential that doctors are aware of these results and take them into account in the emergency management of seriously injured patients."

The trial was carried out to see whether TXA was effective and whether it had bad side effects, such as increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and lung clots.

On the latter score, there was no increase in any of these complications, the authors said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
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

    Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher

    £120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer / Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £32500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in SW London, this compan...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion this leading designer and sup...

    Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Assistant

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a friendly, confident i...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee