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Researchers have discovered that dimethyl malonate, an ingredient commonly found in perfumes, has the potential to prevent fatal bleeding in gunshot victims. The compound could address a condition that impairs blood clotting during blood transfusions for trauma patients.

Scientists make discovery that could help solve coagulopathy

Currently, the survival rate for severe blood loss caused by traumatic injuries, including gunshot wounds, is approximately 50%. Successful survival depends on two crucial factors: a significant blood infusion and coagulation at the wound site to stop bleeding. However, this becomes challenging because administering a large amount of blood to hemorrhaging patients can hinder blood clotting, a condition referred to as coagulopathy.

Tulane University researchers have discovered what causes coagulopathy in trauma patients who undergo blood transfusions. They have also identified a potential solution for this condition using dimethyl malonate, a synthetic compound commonly utilized in perfume manufacturing.

According to Tulane University School of Medicine’s Dr. Olan Jackson-Weaver, the mortality rate caused by trauma-induced coagulopathy is significant. However, no treatment has proven entirely successful in addressing this issue. He added that their animal model exhibited a mortality rate of 60%. However, after administering dimethyl malonate, the mortality rate dropped to zero percent, and the coagulopathy disappeared completely.

Gun violence-related trauma is a major cause of death in the US, particularly among young people. Studies indicate that during treatment for severe bleeding, coagulopathy may occur due to the breakdown of the glycocalyx, the protective sugar barrier around cells. Researchers have identified the specific cellular processes responsible for this dismantling of the glycocalyx, highlighting its significance.

Dimethyl malonate inhibits cellular metabolism

Dr. Jackson-Weaver states that efforts to reduce the death rate from massive hemorrhage have been unsuccessful until now. However, understanding cellular-level events may lead to the development of a more effective solution.

Animal studies have shown that dimethyl malonate can inhibit disproportionate cellular metabolism, preventing shedding of the glycocalyx and coagulopathy. Further research is needed to determine the safety of dimethyl malonate for human use and explore the possibility of creating a similar drug that targets cellular metabolism.