Paris: 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 today 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
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 per cent 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
"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
TXA works by reducing the breakdown of clots. The
drug is manufactured by a number of companies, and a gram of
it costs about USD 4.50.
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.