For Australians going abroad, long-haul flights are a given and now scientists have developed a drug to help people avoid the risk of blood clots.
Sitting for hours in the same position, with lower air pressure, less oxygen and often not enough hydration, many flyers are at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) caused by a blood clot that occurs most often in the legs.
These can develop into a pulmonary embolism, when a lump of material most often prevents a blood clot from traveling from his legs to the lungs.
Blood clots can cause a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke and now scientists from the Melbourne Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne have developed a new drug to avoid the risks.
Results from a preclinical study conducted at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, have shown that blood clots can be avoided by using small doses of a drug that can prevent the growth of blood clots.
Researcher and author of Baker Institute, Professor Xiaowei Wang, said that scientists have designed the drug for targeted delivery
"This unique approach would provide drugs that attach to the developing clot and block further clotting of the blood clot They are only needed in small doses, thus avoiding any possible side effects from bleeding, "she said.
"This approach promises to be safer compared to traditional drug delivery that results in a generalized bleeding risk."
Co-co-author, Professor Karlheinz Peter, said that the innovative approach could be an alternative to large numbers of patients who may be at risk for heart attack, stroke and deep vein thrombosis.
"More importantly, in addition to effective treatment of heart attacks, strokes and DVTs, reduced bleeding risk will increase and enable their use to protect risk patients even before such events occur."  Cardiovascular disease annually causes more than 480,000 hospital admissions, with one Australian mortality dying every 12 minutes.
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