SEATTLE — Patients who arrive unconscious with a head injury at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle may be given a drug being tested to prevent bleeding in the brain, even though they are unable to give their consent.
The hospital’s chief trauma doctor, Dr. Eileen Bulger, says the drug known as TXA is already approved to stop internal bleeding. She’s leading the study to determine if giving the drug as early as possible helps with traumatic brain injury.
The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/VYdX4j) the study at Harborview and nine other trauma centers is funded by the Defense Department and National Institutes of Health. It will involve about 1,000 patients, and about 100 of those are at Harborview.
Researchers will stop the experimental treatments if families object.