South West Ambulance Service first to get blood drug TXA
Ambulance crews in the South West have become the first civilian paramedics to use a drug which reduces bleeding.
Crews in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset will use tranexamic acid (TXA) during a three-month trial.
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in Plymouth said TXA was "extremely cheap" and would cost on average about £3 a treatment.
TXA has previously only been used by armed forces parademics and during surgery.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) said a study found that TXA reduced the risk of bleeding to death by up to 30%.
The NIHR estimates about 400 people's lives could be saved each year if TXA is used across all ambulance trusts in the UK.
It is hoped that TXA will be introduced to other UK ambulance trusts in 2012.