The problem with Stroke care drugs are that they must be administered within 4 hours and where delays happen in diagnosis this time can pass causing life changing problems for the patient. Doctors in the UK are trailing a new drug which is inspired by Vampire Bats.
The Vampire bat’s teeth make a hole where they consume blood and to make this easier their saliva contains a powerful agent to stop the blood clotting as the bat has to consume a minimum of half of it’s body weight in blood every night.
The natural agent in the bat’s saliva is called Desmoteplase which 13,000 times more powerful than the current treatments so allowing the treatment to start with 9 hours by destroying fibrin which is the basic material of the blood clot without causing other problems. The human trials are being expanded as they are proving to be very successful in reducing or stopping brain damage caused by the clot in the brain.
The problem with any drug is making sure that there is time for it to be delivered and this is an important role of the first aider as they need to act FAST to get help without delay so that treatment can start. Currently a very small percentage of Stoke patients actually arrive at hospital within the current period. This new drug should increase the number of people who can be treated and avoid life changing affects of Stroke.
The drug work very quickly and results can be seen with in 30 minutes. The trials will take 2-3 years to complete over 11 UK hospitals but high hopes are expected that this will change the way we treat strokes.