World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year.

It is a high-profile global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families, and communities – millions added each year to countless millions already suffering: a truly tremendous cumulative toll.

This Day has also become an important tool for governments and all those whose work involves crash prevention or response to the aftermath of crashes since it offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries, call for an end to the often trivial and inappropriate response to road death and injury and advocate for urgent concerted action to stop the carnage.

World day of remembrance for road traffic victims LSHTM-CTU tranexamic acid TXA

Jeannot Mersch, president of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR), says:

‘We call on political leaders and health ministers around the world to have this treatment available in their rescue services as this would largely help us reach the target set by the EU and UN for reducing road deaths in road traffic by 50% till 2030, and keep on track towards the final goal, Vision Zero – no more deaths and serious injuries in our streets and on our roads.’

The researchers found that early TXA treatment in patients with traumatic brain injury reduces deaths regardless of country income level or injury severity. This means that patients everywhere and even the most severely injured patients stand to benefit if given TXA quickly.

As the only proven lifesaving treatment for traumatic injury, TXA is included in guidelines and protocols around the world.

In addition to being safe and clinically effective, TXA use in trauma patients is highly cost-effective, even in low- and middle-income settings. Even though evidence on the benefits of TXA in trauma has been available for over a decade, most trauma victims are still not being treated with TXA soon enough, if at all.

This needs to change. 

Recent research found that TXA is well tolerated and rapidly absorbed when given to bleeding trauma patients by intramuscular injection, meaning first responders can quickly give TXA at the scene. Usually given by intravenous injection (IV), intramuscular administration could greatly expand access to urgent pre-hospital TXA treatment, improving trauma care around the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries where over 90% of trauma deaths occur.  

Most trauma deaths are from bleeding in the brain, chest or abdomen. Combining data from the world’s largest clinical trials in trauma (the international CRASH-2 and CRASH-3 trials), researchers found that tranexamic acid or TXA reduces deaths regardless of the location of bleeding.  

Each year around five million people worldwide die from injuries, many of which happen in road crashes, the leading cause of death and acquired disability among young people, particularly young men. Every 24 seconds a person is killed on the roads. The bereaved families of the victims suffer long lasting, often permanent, grief and loss. 

World day of remembrance for road traffic victims LSHTM-CTU tranexamic acid TXA

The researchers estimate that urgent treatment of all trauma victims, ideally at the scene of the crash, could prevent over 100,000 premature deaths each year worldwide. 

On World Day we too pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police, and medical professionals, who deal daily with the traumatic aftermath of road crashes.

World day of remembrance for road traffic victims LSHTM-CTU tranexamic acid TXA
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