Roberts noted that the British and U.S. militaries both use tranexamic acid to treat bleeding soldiers on the battlefield. The drug is also promising for hospitals with limited resources in countries around the world, and Roberts' claymation video has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Japanese to reach an international audience of doctors.
Dr. Michael West, a trauma surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, said although the drug is beneficial in hospitals in more austere environments, it may not be applicable to major trauma centers in the U.S., which have a wide variety of treatments at their disposal to treat bleeding patients, such as frozen blood plasma or recombinant clotting factors.
"Other treatments, although admittedly expensive or resource-intensive, may be much more effective," West said. "But I don't see where any harm can come from disseminating information using this creative approach," noting that he was motivated to look at the data on tranexamic acid after watching the video.
Roberts said he's unsure if his video will go viral, but he plans to conduct follow-up studies to see if the cartoon boosts the use of the drug.
"We'll send the video to the appropriate people and then we'll just see what happens. And whether or not it works, we'll learn something from it, I think," Roberts said. "But there will certainly be no Oscars for us in this."