Virginians may be surprised to hear that traumatic brain injury is the primary cause of death in people below age 40. Brain injury may be caused by a motor vehicle collision, an accidental fall or an injury to the head by any means. When a traumatic brain injury occurs, expedited treatment can be the difference between life and death. To help improve treatment of injuries that cause excessive bleeding, a new medicine, a compound called Tranexamic Acid, is used by the Department of Defense to treat the worst injuries sustained by soldiers. The medication has earned the approval of the FDA, and now one hospital will start using the treatment as part of a study.
The compound arrests damage due to injury by controlling bleeding. Researchers are trying to find out if the chemical can be effective in stopping bleeding inside the brain. Currently, the only way to stop internal bleeding is by opening the scull, exposing the brain and stopping the bleed at the site. This medicine would eliminate the requirement of such a dangerous operation. The best part is the medicine can be administered by paramedics at the scene of an accident.
Doctors believe that if this new medicine works as it is hoped, then it will truly be a medical breakthrough. Tests are currently being conducted on patients and data is being collected. If proved effective, the medicine could soon be used regularly on traumatic brain injury patients.
Medical science has advanced greatly - perhaps even to the point where bleeding in the brain can be stopped by simply administering a drug. Of course, once a patient is stabilized, the impact of the traumatic brain injury will slowly become know. Brain injuries can lead to serious conditions and have long lasting effects. Still, the continued improvement in treatment is likely to be welcome news to those who have been impacted by such an injury.
Source: CBS Local, "New Brain Injury Medication To Be Tested In Minn.," July 8, 2014