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Global Health
June 20, 2017

Blood-Clotting Drug Saves Lives During Childbirth

JAMA. 2017;317(23):2362. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7314

An inexpensive generic blood-clotting drug called tranexamic acid (TXA) reduced death due to postpartum hemorrhage—the leading cause of maternal death worldwide—with no adverse effects, according to a report from an international team of researchers.

TXA helps blood clot more quickly and has been shown to reduce death from bleeding in patients with trauma. In the WOMAN (World Maternal Antifibrinolytic) trial—a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted between March 2010 and April 2016—researchers recruited more than 20 000 women aged 16 years or older who had a clinical diagnosis of postpartum hemorrhage after a vaginal or cesarean delivery from 193 hospitals across 21 countries, primarily in Africa and Asia. Women were randomly assigned to receive either 1 g intravenous TXA or a matching placebo in addition to the standard care a woman receives during childbirth. Another 1 g dose of TXA was given if bleeding continued after 30 minutes or if it stopped but restarted within 24 hours of the first dose.

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