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blood clots 301 articles

Head injury protocol reduces death rate for patients on blood thinners

Blood thinners, like heparin, are routinely administered or prescribed to patients to help prevent blot clots that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. But if a patient taking blood thinners bumps his head, he is at greater risk for undetected brain bleeds and death, according to Emax Health. Researchers at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, have developed a treatment protocol to quickly and effectively diagnose brain bleeds in patients who are on blood thinners and bump their heads. The study treated 105 patients under the new protocol. As a result, diagnosis of brain bleeds occurred in half the ... Read More

Older Americans may be taking hazardous drug combinations

More than 50 million older Americans – or 91 percent of that population – take at least one medication, and at least 2 million of them are combining their medication with other drugs or supplements that may be hazardous to their health, according to the Associated Press. The findings come from research published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association and funded by the National Institutes of Health and University of Chicago. The study is based on interviews of 3,000 people aged 57 to 85. The research shows that more than half of the older population is ... Read More

Drug makers rush to produce new blood thinners

New blood-thinning medicines are in the works and to offer doctors more options in treatment and prevention of blood clots, according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg reports that at least six companies are working on blood thinners to take advantage of a growing need. According to Datamonitor, a London-based research company, the anticoagulation drug market is expected to reach $20 million by 2012. Blood thinners are routinely given to patients before certain types of surgery and treatments such as kidney dialysis to prevent blood clots from forming. Clots that do not naturally dissolve can travel through the blood stream and end up ... Read More

Cancer risk still elevated even years after stopping HRT

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that women who took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) face an increased risk of cancer several years after stopping the treatment, according to an NPR report. Most doctors prescribed HRT for women experiencing bothersome symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats, mood swings and decreased sexual desire. Just a few years ago it was believed that long-term use of HRT was safe and offered other benefits, such as protecting against osteoporosis and heart disease. However, preliminary results of the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) showed that ... Read More

Low-molecular-weight heparin good therapy for cancer patients

Cancer Consultants, an oncology resource center, is reporting that prophylactic use of nadroparin, a low-molecular-weight heparin, significantly reduces the incidence of thromboembolic events in patients who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. This finding was presented this week by Italian researchers with the PROTECHT Study, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hemotology. Thromboembolism is a blood clot in the blood vessel that breaks loose and is carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel. The clot may plug a vessel in the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism; brain, causing a stroke; gastrointestinal track, kidneys or leg. Thromboembolism ... Read More

FDA requests better labeling of low molecular weight heparin

The FDA announced this week that it has received information about the Innohep in Renal Insufficiency Study (IRIS) that was stopped in February because of an interim finding of increased all-cause mortality in patients who received Innohep. Innohep contains tinzaparin sodium, a low molecular weight heparin that is given to patients in conjunction with warfarin sodium intravenously to treat blood clots that have occurred deep in the veins of hospitalized patients who may or may not have also experienced the occurrence of blood clots in their lungs (pulmonary embolism). At the time the study was stopped, 350 patients had completed ... Read More

Baxter International spent thousands on lobbying efforts

Drug maker Baxter International Inc., shelled out more than $720,000 in the third quarter of the year lobbying on health care issues including government reimbursement for kidney dialysis treatment and increased funding for kidney disease education, according to Forbes/Associated Press. Baxter International makes heparin, the blood thinner that is routinely used before treatment for kidney dialysis to prevent blood clots as well as during many surgeries. Several lots of heparin manufactured in Baxter International’s China plant were recalled by the FDA earlier this year after they were found to have been contaminated during manufacturing. The tainted heparin ultimately killed more ... Read More

Scientists on road to modifying, customizing human heparin

Scientists at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have learned to modify the human enzyme that produces heparin, which may lead to a more effective synthetic version of the blood thinner, according to Newswise Medical News. “Previously it was nearly impossible to change the nature of the heparin generated by the enzyme,” said Jian Liu, Ph.D., associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy medicinal chemistry and natural products division. “The degree of difficulty was 10-plus. Now it’s more like a two or three, which opens the door to the possibility of improving on the natural product.” The ... Read More

Heparin found to reduce septic shock death rate

Heparin may serve as a very inexpensive and effective new treatment for septic shock, according to Canada.com. Septic shock is a serious condition that can cause multiple organ failure and death. It is the main cause of mortality in intensive care units (ICU), with a mortality rate of up to 40 percent. There is only one drug other than antibiotics approved to treat septic shock, and that drug costs about $10,000 per patient. But two Canadian intensive care physicians, Dr. Ryan Zarychanski and Dr. Anand Kumar, who studied the effect of the blood thinner heparin on ICU patients between 1989 ... Read More

Scientists work to overcome obstacles in synthetic heparin

Heparin remains in high demand in the United States, with more than 300,000 doses used daily. The blood thinner, which has been widely used since the 1930s, saves lives by preventing potentially fatal blood clots and reducing the amount of time patients with kidney failure stay on dialysis machines. However, controversy surrounds the medication and companies are quickly working on alternatives. The active ingredient in heparin is derived from pig intestines and the demand for the drug has become so great that the domestic pig population cannot meet the demand. To meet the immediate need, pharmaceutical companies have turned to ... Read More