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Creepy Creatures Can Be Medical Marvels, Too

Posted 23 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, OCT. 22, 2017 – Creepy crawlers like leeches, maggots, snakes and ticks might make you squeal in fear or disgust, but they could save your life. All of them protect one thing people can't live without: blood. And that means they have a role to play in modern medicine, according to the American Society of Hematology. Leeches have a substance in their saliva called Hirudin that helps prevent blood clots in microsurgical procedures. Doctors use them to maintain blood flow to surgical sites. Without leeches, blood would pool in tissue, which could lead to disfigurement. Leeches have also been used around the world to remove blood from patients. Ticks and mosquitoes also have useful saliva that could be important in development of naturally derived blood thinners (anticoagulants). Maggots, meanwhile, are used to clean some types of wounds. Disinfected maggots are placed into a wound ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect, Wound Infection, Leeches

Is Blood Donated by Mothers Less Safe for Men?

Posted 17 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 17, 2017 – Men who receive blood donated by previously pregnant women may face an increased risk of death following the transfusion, a new study from the Netherlands suggests. Males transfused with blood from a woman with a history of pregnancy appear to be 13 percent overall more likely to die in coming years, compared with those who received blood from another man, said researchers from Sanquin, the Dutch national blood bank. The highest risk seemed to be in men 18 to 50 years old. They had a 50 percent increased risk of death after receiving blood from a previously pregnant female, said Sanquin spokesman Merlijn van Hasselt, who answered questions on behalf of the research team. "The risk remained increased for many years after transfusion. No such increase was observed for female recipients, or for male recipients over 50 years," van Hasselt said. Pregnancy might ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Transfusion, von Willebrand's Disease, Hemophilia, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect, Hemophilia A, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Hemophilia B, Blood Cell Transplantation

Blood Thinners Can Come With Dangerous Side Effects

Posted 3 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 3, 2017 – Blood-thinning drugs can save your life by preventing a heart attack or stroke caused by artery-blocking blood clots. But these are powerful drugs, and a pair of new studies detail side effects people need to understand before taking them. The effectiveness of a class of blood thinners called nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) can be significantly altered through interaction with other drugs, the first study reveals. In some cases, these drug interactions increase a person's risk of life-threatening bleeding in locations such as the brain and gastrointestinal tract. In other cases, the NOACs' effectiveness is reduced, robbing patients of some protection against stroke and heart attack. "NOACs alone do not pose a significant risk of bleeding, but the concurrent use of NOACs with certain drugs that share the same metabolic pathways may cause increased risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Lipitor, Atorvastatin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Digoxin, Biaxin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, MY-E, Prevpac, Caduet, A/T/S, Benzoyl Peroxide/Erythromycin, Biaxin XL, Lanoxin

Older Blood Is OK to Use in Transfusions To Critically Ill

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – Using older red blood cells to give transfusions to critically ill patients doesn't appear to affect their risk of dying, Australian researchers report. It was once believed that fresh red blood cells were best suited for transfusions. But this new study adds to the evidence that older blood is just as good, if not better, the study authors said. "Red blood cells for transfusion for critically ill patients are like a good red wine – a little older, a little better," said researcher Dr. Jamie Cooper. He is professor and director of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Center at Monash University in Melbourne. Study co-author Alistair Nichol added that a lot of inadequate research had suggested that fresher blood would be better to use in critically ill patients. Nichol is an associate professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Blood Transfusion, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect, Blood Cell Transplantation

10 Factors to Predict Bleeding Risk in Stroke Survivors

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Stroke survivors at high risk for bleeding from drugs meant to prevent another stroke can be identified using a new scoring system, new research contends. Many patients who have an ischemic stroke – which occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain – are given drugs to prevent another clot. But these anti-clotting medications increase the risk of bleeding problems that can cause disability or death. In the new report, researchers analyzed data from six large studies of people who survived a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack). Just over 43,000 people were included in the analysis. Of those, 1,530 had a major bleeding event – defined as bleeding within the skull or that led to death, a hospital stay or disability. The risk of such an event was 1.9 percent in the first year and 4.6 percent over three years, the investigators found. To ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Ischemic Stroke, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect

Study Tracks Bleeding Risk From Common Blood Thinners

Posted 28 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 – Blood thinners can help prevent dangerous clots, but they also come with risks for excess bleeding. Now, new research shows that use of the medications does boost the odds of "subdural hematomas" – bleeds occurring within the skull and near the brain. And some blood thinners carry higher risk than others. The Danish research team stressed that the results don't mean patients who need blood thinners should avoid them altogether – just that their data adds to decisions around their use. "The present data add one more piece of evidence to the complex risk-benefit equation of [blood thinner] use," wrote a team led by Dr. David Gaist, of Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark. Despite the bleeding risk, "it is known that these drugs result in net benefits overall in patients with clear therapeutic indications," the study authors added. ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Plavix, Xarelto, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Excedrin, Clopidogrel, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Norgesic

Blood Banks Face Seasonal Shortages, New Screening Rules

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 – There's typically a shortage of both blood and platelets during the holiday season. But, tighter testing for a rare complication of transfusions makes the need for platelets even more urgent, experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas say. Platelets are a component of blood that are essential for clotting. The complication, called transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), is the leading cause of death due to transfusions, the experts said. "One reason the supply of blood platelets has decreased is that we now have additional required testing of platelets after donation," said Dr. Thomas Froehlich, medical director at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Blood and platelet shortages are traditionally common during the holidays. The shortages put cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, trauma victims and people with health issues that ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Bleeding Disorder, Anemia, Blood Transfusion, Folic Acid Deficiency, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Anemia Associated with Chronic Disease, Blood Cell Transplantation

Pradaxa Blood Thinner May Beat Warfarin After Bleeding Episode: Study

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – Use of a blood thinner is routine for many heart patients, but these drugs come with a risk of episodes of excess bleeding. What, if any, anticoagulant (blood thinner) should these patients take after such episodes arise? A new study suggests that the blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) may be a better choice than the standby drug warfarin in these cases. The reason: Pradaxa is less likely than warfarin to cause recurrent bleeding in patients who recently suffered a bleeding stroke or other major bleeding event, the researchers found. "Our results should encourage clinicians to seriously consider resuming anticoagulation among patients who survived a major bleeding event, particularly if the source of bleeding was identified and addressed," said study senior author Dr. Samir Saba. He's associate chief of cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Heart and ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lovenox, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin, Jantoven

These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – An estimated one in 250 Americans lands in the hospital emergency department each year because of a medication-related reaction or problem, a new federal study finds. Among adults 65 and older, the rate is about one in 100, the study authors said. Remarkably, the medicines causing the most trouble haven't changed in a decade, the researchers noted. Blood thinners, diabetes medicines and antibiotics top the list. These drugs accounted for 47 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in 2013 and 2014, according to the analysis. Among older adults, blood thinners, diabetes medicines and opioid painkillers are implicated in nearly 60 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events. "The same drugs are causing the most problems," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Budnitz. The study doesn't tease out what went wrong. The reasons ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Diabetes, Type 2, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Warfarin, Subutex, Coumadin

Anti-Vaccine Trend Has Parents Shunning Newborns' Vitamin Shot

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – With the recent U.S. measles outbreak, the issue of vaccine refusal has received growing scrutiny. Now doctors are calling attention to a similar problem: Some parents are shunning the vitamin K shot routinely given to newborns to prevent internal bleeding. The consequences of that choice can be severe, pediatric specialists say. Infants can quickly become deficient in vitamin K, which can lead to dangerous bleeding in the intestines or the brain. "If you refuse the shot, you're rolling the dice with your child's health," said Dr. Robert Sidonio Jr., a hematologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta. Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting. In older children and adults, bacteria in the gut produce much of the vitamin K the body needs. But that's not the case for infants. And breast milk does not supply enough vitamin K ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Delivery, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

FDA Approves Corifact to Prevent Bleeding in People With Rare Genetic Defect

Posted 21 Feb 2011 by Drugs.com

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Corifact, the first product intended to prevent bleeding in people with the rare genetic defect congenital Factor XIII deficiency. Patients with congenital Factor XIII deficiency don't make enough Factor XIII, a substance that circulates in the blood and is important for normal clotting. Without treatment, people with the condition are at risk for life-threatening bleeding. Congenital Factor XIII deficiency is rare and affects 1 out of every 3 million to 5 million people in the United States. The deficiency may lead to soft tissue bruising, mucosal bleeding and fatal intracranial bleeding. Newborns with Factor XIII deficiency may have umbilical cord bleeding. "This product helps fill an important need," said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Biologics ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect

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