A cheap remedy, period: Tranexamic acid for excessive bleeding

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The same drug used to reduce heavy menstrual cycles may reduce the risk of complications from hemorrhage associated with trauma, Reuters reports. Tranexamic acid (TXA), a generic blood-clotting drug that costs less than $5 per gram, reduces the risk of death from hemorrhage by 10 percent for trauma victims when compared to no treatment and would save approximately 70,000 lives each year if used worldwide, according to a study published in The Cochrane Library. More than 90 percent of trauma deaths occur in underdeveloped countries, where poor infrastructure and limited resources restrict treatment options. The availability of an affordable medication would provide these countries with a feasible and much needed means of trauma care. TXA reduces the risk of a patient bleeding to death following an injury and appears to have few side effects, says lead study author Ian Roberts of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It could save lives in both civilian and military settings, he adds.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross notes that many in-hospital bleeding episodes are also candidates for such therapy. Post-operative hemorrhage is the main concern, but patients with bleeding disorders including hemophilia, and those inadvertently given too much anti-coagulant a common error might also benefit.