In the case of both Gary Coleman and Bret Michaels, brain hemorrhages caused significant internal bleeding around the brain. While Michaels was able to recover from his traumatic brain injury, Coleman passed away. These stories made the news, but every year, thousands of individuals across the United States suffer brain injury. Doctors are constantly on the lookout for ways to save lives and decrease the damage done when such injuries occur.
According to a recent Health Day article, good news may be on the horizon for those afflicted with such injuries. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a drug most commonly used by surgeons to slow the dissolution of blood clots and prevent traumatic injury victims from bleeding to death before they can be treated. However, researchers are looking at the drug to see if it might be of use to victims of other traumas, such as traumatic brain injury.
TXA is both inexpensive and widely available; two factors that could help sway doctors in its favor.
While some concerns have been raised over whether the drug may lead to an increased chance of heart attack or stroke, researchers working with TXA have reported no such increase in risk.
What they have reported is a 10 percent increase in survival among patients being treated with the drug.
Tests to determine whether TXA might be applied in other situations have already begun. In addition to traumatic brain injuries, researchers hope that TXA may be able to save women affected by postpartum bleeding, which causes around 100,000 deaths each year.
If TXA is shown to be reliable and well-suited to treating victims of traumatic injury, it could save tens of thousands of lives every year.