17 Apr 2019

TXA Autoinjector set to save lives on the battlefield

The TXA Autoinjector can prevent blood loss and has received £5 million in funding from the Defence Secretary.

The TXA Autoinjector project, which allows life-saving blood clotting treatment to be administered at the push of a button, has been given a £5 million funding boost by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to accelerate the technology. If successful, the cutting-edge medical technology could also be adapted from use in the battlefield to any major trauma incidents, from stab wounds to road traffic accidents.

The auto-injector uses Tranexamic Acid, which is a cost-effective and reliable drug that stabilizes and strengthens blood clotting within damaged tissues and can be administered by an untrained user. It is currently administered through an IV drip but through the autoinjector, it could be administered directly, benefiting approximately a third of injured personnel.

Colonel Nigel Tai, trauma surgeon at The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust said: “Large international clinical trials show that TXA saves lives in bleeding patients. But we also know that for patients to be given the best chance, TXA should be given as soon as possible after injury.”

“The prospect is, that by packaging the drug into a pre-filled AutoInjector, injured soldiers can self-treat as part of their first-aid drills, and won’t have to wait for evacuation or specialist medical help to arrive.”

The technology also has major implications across medical science. It could be used to prevent blood loss during childbirth in the developing world. Eventually, the technology could be rolled out to police, ambulances, NGOs, and public first aid kits.

image © Crown Copyright

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