A woman bleeding after delivery is a menace that has been around for quite a long time, ranking as the number one cause of deaths after births. It is estimated that on a yearly basis, 100,000 women die due to massive bleeding immediately they deliver.
But this is something scientists are set to change, going by their recent research. A cheap drug with the capability of stopping the bleeding has been developed.
In a study published in the Lancet, the researchers suggest that tranexamic acid can lower the problem by a third.
One survivor from postpartum haemorrhage, the top cause of deaths during pregnancy and early motherhood, described her situation to BBC.
Nosheen said that she was given 41 bottles of blood. She nearly died during the delivery of her daughter.
Her life was only saved after receiving an emergency hysterectomy.
“Doctors told me that they will have to remove my uterus to save my life.” she expressed her frustration by the fact that her health “has been completely destroyed” and she is upset by it.
Nosheen would have been greatly helped had tranexamic acid been around.
How Tranexamic acid works
This cheaply available drug works by stopping the blood clots from breaking thus the body is in control of bleeding.
It was invented in 1960 by a Japanese couple, husband and wife Shosuke and Utako Okamoto.
However, local doctors could not agree to their suggestions for clinical trials.
A local pharmaceutical company picked up the drug and used it in controlling periods, diverting it from the initial purpose for which it was developed.
But even as the story of a helpful device nearly vanished, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine scientists stepped in to find out its possible applications.
The study placed several patients on trial and the final results proved that Mr. and Mrs. Okamoto were right.
The Study Findings
The research found out that the tranexamic acid could reduce pregnancy deaths by as much as 31 percent.
“We found an inexpensive drug, given in a single shot, that reduces the risk of bleeding to death, and it should play a role in reducing maternal mortality around the world,” said Prof Ian Roberts, a lead researcher.
The World Health Organization is yet to embrace the technique, but said it would give its recommendations after further research.