Researchers: Tranexamic acid could prevent around 30,000 deaths each year in childbirth

Researchers: Tranexamic acid could prevent around 30,000 deaths each year in childbirth

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Experts find effective drug against dangerous bleeding after childbirth
An inexpensive and widely used drug could save the lives of tens of thousands of women every year. Researchers have now found that so-called tranexamic acid can protect pregnant women from fatal bleeding during childbirth.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers found that the widely used drug tranexamic acid can protect newly born mothers from fatal bleeding. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "The Lancet".

More than 100,000 women die from postnatal bleeding each year
Severe bleeding after childbirth (also called postpartum bleeding) is the leading cause of maternal deaths in childbirth worldwide. More than 100,000 women die each year from these complications, the authors say. The deaths could be reduced by about a third if women were given tranexamic acid within three hours of the start of the bleeding, the experts said.

How have doctors treated postpartum bleeding so far?
When so-called postpartum bleeding occurs, it is very important for medical professionals to recognize the underlying cause as quickly as possible. The experts can then initiate effective treatment with the help of medication or surgery. Treatment with tranexamic acid could save many mothers from premature death in the future.

The effectiveness of tranexamic acid in severe injuries has long been known
Tranexamic acid is a simple and safe drug. It has previously been found that it can reduce death from bleeding in people with serious injuries, the scientists explain. This type of treatment was first developed in the 1960s. Despite the hope that the intake could reduce maternal deaths, due to a lack of interest among doctors, no study has been carried out on this topic for a long time, the Auotren of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine explain.

Timely use of tranexamic acid saves lives
"We have now found important evidence that early use of tranexamic acid can save women's lives and allow more children to grow up with a mother," says author Prof. Haleema Shakur. The drug is safe and affordable. Hopefully, doctors will be able to use tranexamic acid as soon as possible after the start of heavy bleeding, thus saving mothers from death after birth, the expert added.

Tranexamic acid has no unpleasant side effects
The drug has no known negative side effects. It was developed by a team of researchers under the leadership of the Japanese couple Shosuke and Utako Okamoto. A total of more than 20,000 mothers took part in the current study. The researchers found that using tranexamic acid can reduce maternal mortality by approximately 19 percent.

Ideally, maternal mortality can be reduced by 31 percent
The scientists said that maternal mortality can be reduced by as much as 31 percent if the drug is administered within three hours of birth. The investigations took place at a total of 21 locations. Among these were countries with some of the highest rates of maternal mortality, the researchers say. About 98 percent of maternal deaths occur in low and middle income countries, the authors explain. In these countries, a hysterectomy to treat mothers with bleeding is usually done frequently. (as)

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