A DRUG used to treat excessive blood loss from major trauma and childbirth could transform the treatment of stroke patients, a study has found.

Patients receiving tranexamic acid showed a reduction in the amount of bleeding on the brain, while early deaths in the first week after a stroke were also cut.

A total of 2,325 patients took part in the five year National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded study, targeted at people whose stroke was caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain.

Meanwhile 95 patients were recruited by the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Anand Dixit, a consultant stroke physician at Newcastle Hospitals Trust, said: “Tranexamic acid, a cheap, widely available drug, has the potential to transform treatment and outcomes for stroke patients.”