Tag Archives: Blood

Rapid use of blood drug could save thousands of lives, study finds

Immediate treatment with a cheap and widely available clot-stabilising drug could save the lives of thousands of people each year, including women with severe bleeding after childbirth, a study has found.

A meta-analysis of more than 40,000 patients found that the likelihood of death due to blood loss was reduced by more than 70% if tranexamic acid was administered straight after injury or birth.

But the effectiveness of the drug – available over the counter in the UK to women suffering from heavy periods – diminished over time. The chances of survival fell by 10% for each 15-minute delay, with no benefit seen when administered after three hours.

Postpartum haemorrhage (excessive bleeding after childbirth) is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing about 100,000 women a year, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. More than 2 million people worldwide die from traumatic extracranial bleeding, often as a result of road traffic injuries and violence.

Prof Ian Roberts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who initiated the study, said: “Responding quickly can be the difference between life and death and that means patients must be treated urgently at the scene of injury or as soon as the diagnosis of haemorrhage is made. We have to make sure tranexamic acid is available before patients reach hospital and whenever a woman gives birth.”

Antifibrinolytic drugs work by stopping blood clots from breaking down and reducing bleeding. They have been used for many years to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding and are often given during surgery to reduce the need for blood transfusions.

For the meta-analysis, published in the Lancet on Tuesday, the authors identified a total of 13 tranexamic acid trials conducted between 1946 and 2017 – but only two assessed the impact of treatment time on its effectiveness.

Their analysis showed that almost two-thirds of bleeding deaths occurred within 12 hours of onset (884 of 1,408 bleeding deaths). Deaths due to postpartum haemorrhage peaked two to three hours after childbirth.

Survival from severe bleeding increased by a fifth with the use of tranexamic acid compared with placebo, irrespective of the site of bleeding. Only 1.5% of women given tranexamic acid died of bleeding versus 1.9% of women given placebo plus standard care, and 4.9% of trauma patients given tranexamic acid died of bleeding compared with 5.7% given placebo and standard care.

The researchers took age and systolic blood pressure into account. They found no evidence of complications or increased risk of clotting (ie heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis) compared with placebo, and fewer cases of heart attacks were noted with tranexamic acid, which is also used as a skin whitener in Japan and the far east.

The study builds on previous research which showed that tranexamic acid cut deaths due to postpartum haemorrhage and bleeding after serious injury by about a third if given within three hours of the onset of bleeding.

Roberts said: “Tranexamic acid is safe, cheap, easily administered, and does not need to be refrigerated. Most haemorrhage deaths occur within hours of bleeding onset. Prompt treatment has the potential to save thousands of additional lives worldwide every year.

“Given the importance of early treatment, time from bleeding onset to early treatment should be audited and communicated to healthcare professionals. Establishing national or regional quality improvement initiatives, with best practice benchmarking of time to treatment, might improve survival.”

He said more research was needed to understand the mechanism of the treatment.

Blood plasma infusions from young may arrest Alzheimer’s

Regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a medical conference in Boston was told on Saturday.

Researchers said that their study showed transfusions were safe, had no serious side effects and hinted that infusions could lead to benefits in patients’ memory and thinking.

Infusions of blood plasma – the liquid, cell-free part of blood – are used in surgery and to treat conditions such as liver disease. In addition, research on mice has shown that regular plasma infusions from young mice improves memory in older mice.

The new trial, sponsored by Stanford University, was set up to build on these findings and to test the safety and feasibility of administering blood plasma from younger people to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, who were speaking at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston, revealed that they worked with 18 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who received four weekly infusions of either a placebo saline solution or blood plasma from donors aged between 18 and 30. Then there was a six week “wash-out” period during which participants did not receive either infusion. The researchers then switched the infusions that participants received so that those who previously had plasma received the placebo and vice versa. The participants also took part in memory and thinking tests and assessments of their ability to carry out everyday tasks.

“The research points to potential signs of improvement but we need to see much larger studies before we can tell if this approach could help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting half a million people in the UK, and we urgently need treatments capable of stopping the disease in its tracks.”

Blood plasma infusions from young may arrest Alzheimer’s

Regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a medical conference in Boston was told on Saturday.

Researchers said that their study showed transfusions were safe, had no serious side effects and hinted that infusions could lead to benefits in patients’ memory and thinking.

Infusions of blood plasma – the liquid, cell-free part of blood – are used in surgery and to treat conditions such as liver disease. In addition, research on mice has shown that regular plasma infusions from young mice improves memory in older mice.

The new trial, sponsored by Stanford University, was set up to build on these findings and to test the safety and feasibility of administering blood plasma from younger people to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, who were speaking at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston, revealed that they worked with 18 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who received four weekly infusions of either a placebo saline solution or blood plasma from donors aged between 18 and 30. Then there was a six week “wash-out” period during which participants did not receive either infusion. The researchers then switched the infusions that participants received so that those who previously had plasma received the placebo and vice versa. The participants also took part in memory and thinking tests and assessments of their ability to carry out everyday tasks.

“The research points to potential signs of improvement but we need to see much larger studies before we can tell if this approach could help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting half a million people in the UK, and we urgently need treatments capable of stopping the disease in its tracks.”

Blood plasma infusions from young may arrest Alzheimer’s

Regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a medical conference in Boston was told on Saturday.

Researchers said that their study showed transfusions were safe, had no serious side effects and hinted that infusions could lead to benefits in patients’ memory and thinking.

Infusions of blood plasma – the liquid, cell-free part of blood – are used in surgery and to treat conditions such as liver disease. In addition, research on mice has shown that regular plasma infusions from young mice improves memory in older mice.

The new trial, sponsored by Stanford University, was set up to build on these findings and to test the safety and feasibility of administering blood plasma from younger people to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, who were speaking at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston, revealed that they worked with 18 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who received four weekly infusions of either a placebo saline solution or blood plasma from donors aged between 18 and 30. Then there was a six week “wash-out” period during which participants did not receive either infusion. The researchers then switched the infusions that participants received so that those who previously had plasma received the placebo and vice versa. The participants also took part in memory and thinking tests and assessments of their ability to carry out everyday tasks.

“The research points to potential signs of improvement but we need to see much larger studies before we can tell if this approach could help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting half a million people in the UK, and we urgently need treatments capable of stopping the disease in its tracks.”

Blood plasma infusions from young may arrest Alzheimer’s

Regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a medical conference in Boston was told on Saturday.

Researchers said that their study showed transfusions were safe, had no serious side effects and hinted that infusions could lead to benefits in patients’ memory and thinking.

Infusions of blood plasma – the liquid, cell-free part of blood – are used in surgery and to treat conditions such as liver disease. In addition, research on mice has shown that regular plasma infusions from young mice improves memory in older mice.

The new trial, sponsored by Stanford University, was set up to build on these findings and to test the safety and feasibility of administering blood plasma from younger people to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, who were speaking at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston, revealed that they worked with 18 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who received four weekly infusions of either a placebo saline solution or blood plasma from donors aged between 18 and 30. Then there was a six week “wash-out” period during which participants did not receive either infusion. The researchers then switched the infusions that participants received so that those who previously had plasma received the placebo and vice versa. The participants also took part in memory and thinking tests and assessments of their ability to carry out everyday tasks.

“The research points to potential signs of improvement but we need to see much larger studies before we can tell if this approach could help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting half a million people in the UK, and we urgently need treatments capable of stopping the disease in its tracks.”

Blood plasma infusions from young may arrest Alzheimer’s

Regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a medical conference in Boston was told on Saturday.

Researchers said that their study showed transfusions were safe, had no serious side effects and hinted that infusions could lead to benefits in patients’ memory and thinking.

Infusions of blood plasma – the liquid, cell-free part of blood – are used in surgery and to treat conditions such as liver disease. In addition, research on mice has shown that regular plasma infusions from young mice improves memory in older mice.

The new trial, sponsored by Stanford University, was set up to build on these findings and to test the safety and feasibility of administering blood plasma from younger people to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, who were speaking at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston, revealed that they worked with 18 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who received four weekly infusions of either a placebo saline solution or blood plasma from donors aged between 18 and 30. Then there was a six week “wash-out” period during which participants did not receive either infusion. The researchers then switched the infusions that participants received so that those who previously had plasma received the placebo and vice versa. The participants also took part in memory and thinking tests and assessments of their ability to carry out everyday tasks.

“The research points to potential signs of improvement but we need to see much larger studies before we can tell if this approach could help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting half a million people in the UK, and we urgently need treatments capable of stopping the disease in its tracks.”

Blood plasma infusions from young may arrest Alzheimer’s

Regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a medical conference in Boston was told on Saturday.

Researchers said that their study showed transfusions were safe, had no serious side effects and hinted that infusions could lead to benefits in patients’ memory and thinking.

Infusions of blood plasma – the liquid, cell-free part of blood – are used in surgery and to treat conditions such as liver disease. In addition, research on mice has shown that regular plasma infusions from young mice improves memory in older mice.

The new trial, sponsored by Stanford University, was set up to build on these findings and to test the safety and feasibility of administering blood plasma from younger people to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, who were speaking at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston, revealed that they worked with 18 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who received four weekly infusions of either a placebo saline solution or blood plasma from donors aged between 18 and 30. Then there was a six week “wash-out” period during which participants did not receive either infusion. The researchers then switched the infusions that participants received so that those who previously had plasma received the placebo and vice versa. The participants also took part in memory and thinking tests and assessments of their ability to carry out everyday tasks.

“The research points to potential signs of improvement but we need to see much larger studies before we can tell if this approach could help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting half a million people in the UK, and we urgently need treatments capable of stopping the disease in its tracks.”

Blood plasma infusions from young may arrest Alzheimer’s

Regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a medical conference in Boston was told on Saturday.

Researchers said that their study showed transfusions were safe, had no serious side effects and hinted that infusions could lead to benefits in patients’ memory and thinking.

Infusions of blood plasma – the liquid, cell-free part of blood – are used in surgery and to treat conditions such as liver disease. In addition, research on mice has shown that regular plasma infusions from young mice improves memory in older mice.

The new trial, sponsored by Stanford University, was set up to build on these findings and to test the safety and feasibility of administering blood plasma from younger people to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, who were speaking at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston, revealed that they worked with 18 volunteers with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who received four weekly infusions of either a placebo saline solution or blood plasma from donors aged between 18 and 30. Then there was a six week “wash-out” period during which participants did not receive either infusion. The researchers then switched the infusions that participants received so that those who previously had plasma received the placebo and vice versa. The participants also took part in memory and thinking tests and assessments of their ability to carry out everyday tasks.

“The research points to potential signs of improvement but we need to see much larger studies before we can tell if this approach could help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting half a million people in the UK, and we urgently need treatments capable of stopping the disease in its tracks.”

Full statutory inquiry to be held into tainted blood scandal

An inquiry into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV has been moved from the Department of Health to the Cabinet Office after pressure from families, Downing Street has announced.

The inquiry, ordered in July after years of pressure from MPs and campaign groups, will be held as a statutory public inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act, Theresa May’s spokesman said.

An earlier parliamentary report found about 7,500 patients were infected by imported blood products from commercial organisations in the US, whose paid donors included injecting drug users and prison inmates. More than 2,400 haemophiliacs who received the tainted blood are dead.

While those affected and their families had welcomed the announcement of the inquiry, they had expressed concern that if it was held under the control of the Department of Health, it would in effect be investigating itself.

This was of particular concern following fears expressed by some MPs that officials had sought to cover up the scale of the scandal.

May’s spokesman said the first secretary of state, Damian Green, would post a written ministerial statement on Friday giving details about the inquiry.

“This follows a consultation with those who were affected on how the would like the inquiry to proceed,” he said, saying the consultation had received more than 800 written responses.

“We have been absolutely clear of our determination to establish what happened in relation to the contaminated blood scandal of the 70s and 80s, and to work with the victims and families of those affected, and we are now moving forward with that process,” the spokesman said.

Responsibility for the inquiry will move to the Cabinet Office, which is headed by Green.

“There was a strong view that it should be done away from the Department of Health. We’ve listened to those views, and that’s why it’ll be conducted under the auspices of the Cabinet Office,” the spokesman said.

It was not yet known who would head the inquiry or the terms of reference, he said, adding that a further announcement would be made before the end of the year.

A spokesman for the Haemophilia Society said it hoped the shift to the Cabinet Office “will be a turning point in helping the victims of this scandal finally get the justice they have long deserved”.

“We now hope a new and fresh discussion will be launched to establish the chair and terms of reference, which can now include the many groups who, like us, had felt unable to work with the Department of Health when it was so clearly conflicted,” he added.

Pressure for an inquiry had grown amid campaigning by the Labour MP Diana Johnson and Andy Burnham, the former Labour MP who is now mayor of Greater Manchester.

Johnson, who co-chairs an all-party group on the issue, said she welcomed the move but stressed that the Department of Health should have no say on the chair, panel or terms of reference.

“Secondly, this statutory inquiry must use its full powers to compel witnesses and hear evidence under oath. It must not be inhibited in its functions by the possibility of criminal liability being inferred,” she added. “Thirdly, the inquiry terms of reference must cover the aftermath of the tragedy as well as the run-up to infection. This includes the allegations of a criminal cover-up on an industrial scale.”

Diana Johnson (@DianaJohnsonMP)

Government have now done the right thing moving contaminated blood inquiry away from DOH and giving it full legal powers. https://t.co/3CyTNjZk2P

November 3, 2017

Labour’s shadow public health minister, Sharon Hodgson, said: “Having been implicated in this public health scandal, it would be highly inappropriate for the department to be the sponsoring body.

“The thousands of innocent families affected by this appalling tragedy deserve justice and today’s decision is an important step in that direction.”

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: “This is crucial to ensure that the inquiry is completely independent from the Department of Health, whose role in this scandal needs to be fully scrutinised.”

The prime minister announced the contaminated blood inquiry hours before she faced possible defeat in a House of Commons vote on an emergency motion about the need for an investigation into the failings and the deaths.

Survivors welcomed the announcement, but said the decades-long wait for answers had been far too long. The contamination took place in the 1970s and 80s, and the government started paying those affected more than 25 years ago.

In his final speech to the Commons in April, Burnham said he had been contacted by victims and families who believed medical records had been falsified to obscure the scandal, saying there was evidence of “a criminal cover-up on an industrial scale”.

The scandal has its origins in the 1970s when people with haemophilia began to be given “factor concentrates” to treat their symptoms.

Drug companies found they could take the clotting factors out of blood plasma and freeze-dry them into a powder. There was high demand for the concentrate, taken from blood plasma, and in the US prisoners and people who were addicted to drugs were among those paid to give their blood. Donations were mixed together, which increased the chances of contamination.

Full statutory inquiry to be held into tainted blood scandal

An inquiry into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV has been moved from the Department of Health to the Cabinet Office after pressure from families, Downing Street has announced.

The inquiry, ordered in July after years of pressure from MPs and campaign groups, will be held as a statutory public inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act, Theresa May’s spokesman said.

An earlier parliamentary report found about 7,500 patients were infected by imported blood products from commercial organisations in the US, whose paid donors included injecting drug users and prison inmates. More than 2,400 haemophiliacs who received the tainted blood are dead.

While those affected and their families had welcomed the announcement of the inquiry, they had expressed concern that if it was held under the control of the Department of Health, it would in effect be investigating itself.

This was of particular concern following fears expressed by some MPs that officials had sought to cover up the scale of the scandal.

May’s spokesman said the first secretary of state, Damian Green, would post a written ministerial statement on Friday giving details about the inquiry.

“This follows a consultation with those who were affected on how the would like the inquiry to proceed,” he said, saying the consultation had received more than 800 written responses.

“We have been absolutely clear of our determination to establish what happened in relation to the contaminated blood scandal of the 70s and 80s, and to work with the victims and families of those affected, and we are now moving forward with that process,” the spokesman said.

Responsibility for the inquiry will move to the Cabinet Office, which is headed by Green.

“There was a strong view that it should be done away from the Department of Health. We’ve listened to those views, and that’s why it’ll be conducted under the auspices of the Cabinet Office,” the spokesman said.

It was not yet known who would head the inquiry or the terms of reference, he said, adding that a further announcement would be made before the end of the year.

A spokesman for the Haemophilia Society said it hoped the shift to the Cabinet Office “will be a turning point in helping the victims of this scandal finally get the justice they have long deserved”.

“We now hope a new and fresh discussion will be launched to establish the chair and terms of reference, which can now include the many groups who, like us, had felt unable to work with the Department of Health when it was so clearly conflicted,” he added.

Pressure for an inquiry had grown amid campaigning by the Labour MP Diana Johnson and Andy Burnham, the former Labour MP who is now mayor of Greater Manchester.

Johnson, who co-chairs an all-party group on the issue, said she welcomed the move but stressed that the Department of Health should have no say on the chair, panel or terms of reference.

“Secondly, this statutory inquiry must use its full powers to compel witnesses and hear evidence under oath. It must not be inhibited in its functions by the possibility of criminal liability being inferred,” she added. “Thirdly, the inquiry terms of reference must cover the aftermath of the tragedy as well as the run-up to infection. This includes the allegations of a criminal cover-up on an industrial scale.”

Diana Johnson (@DianaJohnsonMP)

Government have now done the right thing moving contaminated blood inquiry away from DOH and giving it full legal powers. https://t.co/3CyTNjZk2P

November 3, 2017

Labour’s shadow public health minister, Sharon Hodgson, said: “Having been implicated in this public health scandal, it would be highly inappropriate for the department to be the sponsoring body.

“The thousands of innocent families affected by this appalling tragedy deserve justice and today’s decision is an important step in that direction.”

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: “This is crucial to ensure that the inquiry is completely independent from the Department of Health, whose role in this scandal needs to be fully scrutinised.”

The prime minister announced the contaminated blood inquiry hours before she faced possible defeat in a House of Commons vote on an emergency motion about the need for an investigation into the failings and the deaths.

Survivors welcomed the announcement, but said the decades-long wait for answers had been far too long. The contamination took place in the 1970s and 80s, and the government started paying those affected more than 25 years ago.

In his final speech to the Commons in April, Burnham said he had been contacted by victims and families who believed medical records had been falsified to obscure the scandal, saying there was evidence of “a criminal cover-up on an industrial scale”.

The scandal has its origins in the 1970s when people with haemophilia began to be given “factor concentrates” to treat their symptoms.

Drug companies found they could take the clotting factors out of blood plasma and freeze-dry them into a powder. There was high demand for the concentrate, taken from blood plasma, and in the US prisoners and people who were addicted to drugs were among those paid to give their blood. Donations were mixed together, which increased the chances of contamination.