Menstruation medication stops bleeding in emergenciesBy Sheryl Kay • Published: June 6th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
For those who have faced trauma accidents where severe blood loss was involved, the notion that every single second matters is not an exaggeration. Even just a thirty- to forty- percent drop in blood circulation requires immediate intervention to prevent loss of life.
Most recently this has become of particular concern as American soldiers are engaged in daily combat in several locations around the world, often facing traumatic wounds that result in severe blood loss. It is estimated that more than three million people around the world die of blood loss complications each year.
Now in a recent review just published by the Cochrane Library, two studies reveal that a simple medication often prescribed to women who suffer from heavy bleeding during menstruation might provide dramatic relief from heavy bleeding, both on the battlefield, and at home in the operating room.
Tranexamic [tran ex AM ik] acid is a drug that makes blood clots less likely to degenerate. By facilitating the clotting process, the drug can reduce blood loss.
The Cochrane review examined two studies involving tranexamic acid, one that looked at two-hundred-and-forty patients who suffered bleeding from a brain injury. The second study tracked more than twenty-thousand individuals who had bleeding from any type of injury. The analysis confirmed that among those taking tranexamic acid, fifteen percent were less likely to die because of blood loss, and a full sixty-eight percent were less likely to die of a heart attack.
Because the findings were so compelling, the researchers concluded that tranexamic acid should be given more often to injury victims with bleeding, which may buy patients extra time so they can survive their injury, and allow their doctors more opportunity to investigate other life-saving options, like blood transfusions.