Drug saves blood and money

November 2015   Comments

At Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, the use of an inexpensive drug has reduced red blood cell transfusions during hip or knee replacements by more than 40 per cent without negatively affecting patients. Although tranexamic acid (TXA) prevents excessive blood loss during surgery, less than half of the eligible patients were receiving it because of a provincewide shortage. After the shortage ended in 2013, the $10 drug was given to 400 patients during hip or knee replacements, which often involve high blood loss. Transfusing one unit of blood costs about $1,200, according to the research in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

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