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Giving a clotting factor to patients with stroke caused by intracerebral hemorrhage may save lives, according to a large study conducted at 73 centers worldwide. Treatment with NovoSeven coagulation factor VIIa (recombinant), which is typically used to treat bleeding in people with hemophilia, reduced mortality by 10% in people with hemorrhagic stroke.

 

In the study, 400 patients with hemorrhagic stroke received either one of three doses of NovoSeven or a placebo. Care providers confirmed hemorrhagic stroke by computed tomography (CT) within 3 hours of onset of signs and symptoms and administered treatment within 1 hour of the scan.

 

Besides reducing mortality, giving the drug was associated with a 50% relative reduction in bleeding after baseline.

 

Researchers say their findings are the first to show that a medical treatment can reduce bleeding as measured by CT scan. They point out that the benefits of reducing bleeding into the brain can be enormous: A reduction of just 1 teaspoon of blood can prevent death or severe disability in one out of five patients.

 

The researchers presented their findings at the World Stroke Congress in Vancouver, Canada, in June.