Traumatic brain injuries remain one of the most common causes of disability and death across the world. Those who suffer head injuries are often left with permanent disabilities that impact their quality of life. Fortunately, an inexpensive drug is widely available and has the potential to save thousands of individuals who suffers TBIs every year.
The drug, tranexamic acid, has been used for other purposes for years. However, researchers have discovered that it may be useful for head injuries as well. A recently published article in the well-respected medical journal, The Lancet, suggests that tranexamic acid can drastically improve survival rates following a head injury.
What is Tranexamic Acid?
Tranexamic acid is given to stop blood clots from degrading. The blood clotting process is a cascade of numerous proteins, platelets, and other clotting factors in the bloodstream. The end result is a clot that can stop people from bleeding to death. If a clot degrades prematurely, it may result in profuse bleeding.
Prior research studies have shown that tranexamic acid is effective in a variety of situations. It is used regularly to halt blood loss from internal bleeding, abdominal injuries, chest wounds, and even women who have just given birth. However, it is not widely used to treat those who have suffered a head injury. A clinical trial shows that it might be effective in this situation.
The Design of the Research Study
Prior research studies have shown that bleeding in the brain is a common cause of death following a TBI. If this bleeding can be stopped, many lives can be saved. In a study published in The Lancet, a randomized clinical trial was conducted in 175 hospitals spread across 29 countries. Those who were diagnosed with a TBI within three hours of the injury had been diagnosed with a Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) of 12 or lower (out of a possible 15). Intracranial bleeding identified on a CT scan were also included in the study.
Patients were randomly assigned to be given either tranexamic acid or a placebo. Then, the patients were tracked throughout the course of their treatment. The results showed that tranexamic acid is safe in individuals who have suffered a TBI. If individuals receive tranexamic acid within three hours of their head injury, they were statistically significantly less likely to die.
A New Application of an Existing Head Injury Drug
Tranexamic acid is not a new drug, however, this represents a new application of this drug. If medical providers identify injuries quickly and administer tranexamic acid, it can significantly reduce the risk of death. This medication can stop people from bleeding in the brain. If the bleeding stops, the risk of intracerebral herniation following a traumatic brain injury is reduced.
It will be exciting to see if tranexamic acid is approved for use following a head injury. The results of the study show that this medication can save lives.
Watch YouTube Video: Using Tranexamic Acid (TXA) on Trauma Patients. In the following video, Dr. Patrick Kim from Penn Medicine’s Trauma Center discusses the use of tranexamic acid to treat bleeding on trauma patients.
Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. This drug may save thousands of lives every year. If you have lost someone due to the negligence of another person or entity, please contact me at (800) 404-5400 and/or (916) 921-6400 to receive free, friendly legal guidance and advice.
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