There’s no denying how dangerous a blood clot can be to your health. When blood clumps together in your veins, it becomes almost gel-like and can become life-threatening.
While the body naturally clots blood when we are injured so our bodies don’t lose too much blood, they can restrict blood flow. They can form anywhere in the body from your legs to arms and even in your lungs and brain.
The problem with blood clots is that they become quite thick and they often can’t dissolve on their own. When a blood clot form in your arteries, you usually have an increased risk of a heart attack and a stroke. Deep vein thrombosis is also another major concern.
Researchers in Melbourne are now in the process of developing technology that could change the way blood clots are treated in the future. According to Herald Sun, a new process that injects bubbles into the veins of patients could be the answer to preventing strokes, heart attacks and deep vein thrombosis that are often the result of clots.
According to the report, tiny bubbles will be injected into the veins with the ability to attach themselves to clots. Next, the bubbles will release a drug that breaks them down.
Tests on rodents have already proved successful, breaking down and destroying blood clots in a matter of minutes. In addition to destroying the blood clots, it is also believed that the bubbles will allow doctors and health professionals to identify clots easier when using ultrasounds.
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute leader researcher Dr Xiaowei Wang told Herald Sun that a lot of drugs currently used to treat heart attacks and strokes could cause complications when it came to bleeding.
“Currently clots can only be visualised or diagnosed by putting catheters into the arteries and this procedure is only available in large hospitals,” she said, along with her mentor Professor Karlheinz Peter.
“If you are from a small country town or regional area, there may be a big delay before you get sent to the larger hospitals for diagnosis. This wait could cause irreversible damage to the brain or the heart.”
Dr Wang also explained the process, revealing that because the bubbles have the potential to directly feed medication to the clot, it could result in patients taking less drugs to recover. Dr Wang added that it could be an effective way of dissolving clots without thinning blood and increasing bleeding in the body.
While the research is still in its early days, there are hopes that it will soon begin trials on human. The study is still testing on rodents so there is a chance that results will vary when tested on humans.
Still, it’s a great step forward and a positive sign that lives could be saved.