Home > Search Results

Results: 1 to 20 of 2015

High blood pressure: Can stress management methods lower blood pressure?

Stress can make your blood pressure rise. But there is not enough research to be able to say whether stress management techniques can lower blood pressure.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 27, 2014

Ultrasound (high‐frequency sound waves) plus a clot‐busting drug for  breaking down a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain

Ultrasound is used routinely for diagnosing and monitoring acute ischaemic stroke patients. Experimental studies suggest that ultrasound can help the effect of clot dissolving treatment (thrombolysis) in acute stroke. This systematic review was designed to find out whether adding ultrasound to clot‐dissolving (thrombolytic) drugs or to conventional treatment (sonothrombolysis) is safe and effective. We identified five randomised trials with a total number of  233 participants. People treated with sonothrombolysis appeared to have a greater chance of independent survival (although with some statistical uncertainty), and had more chance of opening blocked blood vessels without an increased risk of bleeding (intracranial haemorrhage). When small bubbles (microbubbles or nanobubbles) are added to sonothrombolysis, the risk of haemorrhage may increase. More research is needed to find out if sonothrombolysis is safe and effective and if there are subgroups of patients who will benefit more from this type of treatment.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Effects of low salt diet on blood pressure, hormones and lipids in people with normal blood pressure and in people with elevated blood pressure

We are commonly advised to cut down on salt. The previous version of this review looked at mostly short‐term strategies to reduce salt intake. In the present updated version separate analyses of studies with a duration of 2 to 4 weeks or longer were performed. Low salt diets reduced systolic blood pressure by 1% in white people with normal blood pressure and by 3.5% in white people with elevated blood pressure. The effect was similar in trials of 4 weeks or longer. There were increases in some hormones and lipids which could be harmful if persistent over time. However, the studies were not designed to measure long‐term health effects. Therefore we do not know if low salt diets improve or worsen health outcomes.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Not certain that people are better off giving their own blood before surgery in case they need transfusion, when there is a safe blood bank

Although in developed countries the safety of blood supplies is high, there is still concern about contracting illness from transfusion. People often give their own blood before surgery for use if transfusion is needed (autologous donation). However, the review of trials found that it is not certain that people benefit. While pre‐operative donation may reduce the chances of needing someone else's blood, it increases the chances of transfusion overall. It may be that donation causes some anaemia (low red blood cells), or surgeons are more likely to transfuse if autologous blood is available. Over‐transfusion has risks, especially for older people.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Alcohol, with or without antiseptic, for preparing the skin before blood collection to prevent bacteraemia or contamination of blood for transfusion.

When blood is collected from blood donors for transfusion it may become contaminated during collection, storage or transfusion. Blood contamination can cause bacteraemia (the presence of bacteria in the blood), severe illness or even death in the blood recipient. When blood is being taken from donors, the skin on the arm of the donor is one potential source of contamination, so it is usual to cleanse the arm with an antiseptic first, and both one‐step and two‐step alcohol based regimens are commonly used, however there is uncertainty about which regimen is the most effective for reducing the microbial load (the number of microscopic bacterial organisms) on the donor arm. We looked for studies that compared the use of alcohol alone versus the use of alcohol followed by another antiseptic to clean the arm before the needle is inserted to draw blood, but we did not find any relevant studies. It is currently unclear whether donor skin cleansing with a one‐step alcohol based regimen reduces the risk of blood contamination compared with a two‐step alcohol based regimen during blood donation.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Preventing death from blood clots, the formation of blood clots and blood clots in the lungs in people who have had physical trauma

Thromboembolism (unwanted clotting of the blood) is a frequent complication in people who have experienced physical trauma and is also an important cause of death. The type of trauma, association with vascular injuries, and prolonged hospital bed rest are known risk factors for the development of deep vein thrombus (clot in veins of lower extremities) that can travel (embolize) to the lungs and cause death. Because of this it is usually recommended that people who have had major trauma are given mechanical or pharmacological treatments to prevent their blood forming unwanted blood clots. Mechanical interventions can include compression stockings, an air‐filled plastic tube that presses around the leg, a metal blood clot filter placed inside a vein; pharmaceutical drugs include unfractionated heparin, low weight molecular heparin, anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin), antiplatelet drugs (e.g. aspirin) and others. Sixteen studies involving 3,005 people are included in this review. We did not find strong evidence that either mechanical or pharmacological interventions reduce death or clots travelling to the lungs, but we found some evidence that they can prevent clots from forming in the legs.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Methyldopa reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure

Methyldopa is a medication that has been used to treat high blood pressure since the 1960s. While there is some belief methyldopa reduces blood pressure, there are concerns due to the potential for this drug to cause adverse effects. The aim of this review was to determine the extent to which methyldopa reduces blood pressure, the nature of methyldopa's adverse effect profile, and to determine the clinical impact of its use for hypertension.The search revealed 12 trials with a total of 595 patients that were randomized to either a methyldopa treatment arm (296 patients) or a placebo treatment arm (299 patients). The daily doses of methyldopa used in these studies ranged 500‐2250 mg daily. The most commonly studied daily dose of methyldopa was 750 mg daily. Most studies followed patients for four to six weeks of therapy. None of the studies reported on the clinical impact of methyldopa (e.g. if methyldopa reduced the risk of having a stroke compared to placebo). Overall reporting of adverse effects was poor so no conclusions can be drawn about the adverse effect profile. This meta‐analysis shows that methyldopa reduces systolic/diastolic blood pressure by approximately 13/8 mmHg compared to placebo.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

High blood pressure: How to lower blood pressure without using medication

Constant high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and increase the likelihood of complications. Changing your lifestyle can help lower your blood pressure – like eating less salt and getting more exercise.Blood pressure can be lowered in different ways. The aim is always to get blood pressure to a level that reduces the risk of complications. People whose blood pressure is only a little too high may first try changing some of their habits instead of taking medication. These three steps are known to lower your blood pressure:Losing weightMore exerciseLow-salt dietThese changes are also frequently recommended:A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grain foods, as well as fish and poultryAlcohol in moderationRelaxation and stress reduction using specific techniquesQuitting smokingNot all of the above changes have been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 27, 2014

Drugs to improve blood flow for people who have poor blood circulation in the veins of their legs.

wasting can develop. People are encouraged to wear compression stockings or bandages to help movement of the blood and the veins can be treated by surgery. Drugs such as natural flavonoids extracted from plants and similar synthetic products may be effective in improving blood flow. This review looked at the evidence from randomised controlled clinical trials comparing these drugs to an inactive treatment, generally over one to three months.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Time effects of blood pressure lowering drugs for the treatment of high blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure is an important public health problem and once daily dosing regimen with blood pressure lowering drugs are recommended to reduce risk of strokes and heart attacks. This review examined the administration‐time‐related effects of once‐daily evening versus morning regimen on death, cardiovascular outcomes and blood pressure reduction. The interventions included chronotherapeutic delivery formulations and conventional antihypertensive agents. 21 trials, involving 1,993 patients with primary hypertension were identified. We concluded that evening dosing with antihypertensive drugs had a slightly better blood pressure control than the morning dosing regimen in 24‐hour BP, but its effect on death and adverse cardiovascular outcomes is not known.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Clot‐dissolving drugs (different doses, routes of administration and agents) for breaking down a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain

Many strokes are due to a sudden blockage of an artery in the brain. Treatments to dissolve the clot (also called thrombolytic treatment) can improve the chance of making a good recovery from a stroke. This review aimed to find out if there were important differences between different clot‐dissolving drugs. It also aimed to find out if there were differences in effect when giving the same drug in different doses or by different routes (into an artery or a vein). The review, which included 20 studies involving 2527 participants, showed that there was some evidence that lower doses of thrombolytic agents led to serious bleeding in the brain less often. However, it was not clear if the benefit from lower doses was as big as with higher doses. There was no evidence to show that one thrombolytic agent was clearly better than another, or that intra‐arterial treatment was better than intravenous treatment. Therefore, more larger randomised controlled trials are required to answer questions about which drug, or dose or route of administration is best for thrombolysis. At present, rt‐PA as currently licensed in many countries, should be regarded as best practice.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

How does the blood circulatory system work?

The blood circulatory system (cardiovascular system) delivers nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body. It consists of the heart and the blood vessels running through the entire body.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 1, 2012

Blood thinners for the initial treatment of blood clots in patients with cancer

Patients with cancer are at an increased risk of blood clots. The blood thinner (anticoagulant) administered in the first few days can consist of unfractionated heparin (infused intravenously) or low molecular weight heparin (injected subcutaneously once or twice per day). These two blood thinners may have different effectiveness and safety profiles.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Cell salvage (collecting a patient's own blood during surgery) for reducing transfusions with donated blood

Some patients who undergo surgery require blood transfusions to compensate for the blood loss that occurs during the procedure. Often the blood used for the transfusion has been donated by a volunteer. The risks associated with receiving volunteer donor blood that has been screened by a competently managed modern laboratory are considered minimal, with the risk of contracting diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C being extremely low. However there is concern in many developing countries, where there is a high prevalence of such infections and transfusion services are inadequately equipped to screen donor blood as thoroughly. Although in developed countries the risks of acquiring a disease from transfused blood are low, the financial costs associated with providing a safe and reliable blood product are escalating. Therefore there is much attention being placed on alternative strategies to minimise the need for transfusions of donor blood.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Preconditioning with brief periods of reduced blood flow to protect vessels which experience reduced blood flow as a consequence of vascular surgery

Patients undergoing major vascular surgery are at high risk of complications around the time of their surgery. This is because many of them have generalised arterial disease. During surgery blood flow is reduced at the site of surgery, which results in a lack of oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the body tissues (ischaemia). After the blood supply is restored, further damage can occur because of cellular responses and the blood flushing through the tissues. This is known as ischaemia‐reperfusion injury.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Blood transfusion for anaemia in patients with advanced cancer

Many patients admitted to a hospice are anaemic but only a small proportion receive a blood transfusion. Two of the main symptoms of anaemia are fatigue and breathlessness. This review aimed to identify whether blood transfusion was a useful treatment for patients with advanced cancer who were anaemic. We identified only 12 relevant studies but all were of low quality. They indicated that fatigue and breathlessness improved immediately after the transfusion but this began to wane after a period of two weeks. Of those receiving a transfusion, 31% to 70% had a transient benefit that lasted about two weeks.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Low blood oxygen levels versus normal blood oxygen levels in ventilated severely ill people

We reviewed the evidence to see whether allowing for low blood oxygen levels, as opposed to normal blood oxygen levels, in severely ill people on mechanical breathing machines (ventilators) in intensive care units (ICUs) (otherwise known as critical care units (CCUs)) changed their chances of recovery (morbidity) and survival rate (mortality). We found no studies eligible for inclusion in this review.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Treatments for acute central retinal artery occlusion (blockage of the blood supply to the retina of the eye)

Central retinal artery occlusion occurs when the blood supply to the inner part of the retina (the light sensitive layer inside the eye) is suddenly stopped. If the blockage is removed in time, and the blood supply returns to the retina, full recovery is possible. However, if the blockage is prolonged the retina dies. Various methods have been tried in an attempt to remove the blockage including massaging the eye, lowering the pressure inside the eye and dissolving clots with drugs. Which of these methods is best for re‐establishing the blood supply is not known and some of the treatments can be associated with serious adverse effects. This review did find two studies that suggested that the blood supply to the retina could be improved with the treatments they tested ‐ although vision was not shown to be improved with either method in the study population. These were, however, small studies and did have potential flaws so more research is still needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

A comparison of the healthy donor's experience of donating their blood stem cells to a patient who is to receive a stem cell transplant as treatment for cancer of their blood (e.g. leukaemia)

Blood stem cells are collected from a donor in two ways: either through a bone marrow harvest (direct retrieval of the stem cells from the donor's hip bones, under general anaesthetic) or a peripheral blood stem cell collection (retrieval of stem cells using a blood cell separator machine, following a course of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G‐CSF) injections). Both these methods of donation are common. Much research has explored which method of donation gives the best outcome to the patient, however there has not been a lot of research exploring these methods of donation from the donor's perspective. Such research is important if there is the possibility of long‐term adverse events for the donor. For example, the long‐term adverse events of G‐CSF are not known, but there is the suggestion of a correlation between G‐CSF and development of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). However, in many instances, donors are given a choice as to which method they would like to use to donate their stem cells. The aim of this review was to compare directly these two methods of blood stem cell donation from the donor's perspective, to understand the experiences of the donor. In this review, each donor was a sibling of the patient to whom they were donating blood stem cells.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Blood thinners for the prevention of blood clots in children with central venous lines

Over the last 10 years, the number of children found to have blood clots in their blood vessels, called veins, has become more common. As blood clots can either block these vessels and change their normal blood flow or shower pieces into other veins placed in important organs, serious health problems including death can occur. Venous clots are usually found in children with plastic tubes placed inside their blood vessels, called central lines, which are inserted to help or save the patient's life. However, these lines can also cause blood clots. We do not know if giving a medication to protect against blood clots, called an anticoagulant or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), would protect against the clots. Therefore, we looked at all the research in children with central lines who received, or not, LMWH and only found one study with a total of 186 participants. This study did not have enough participants to show if this medication protects children with central lines from getting blood clots. The study also did not show that children on LMWH, at the doses given, experience too much bleeding because of its use. The included study did not report any additional adverse events. There were two deaths within the study in the standard care arm, and neither were due to a blood clot. Future studies looking at the role of this medication (LMWH) and if it protects children with central venous lines from getting blood clots are needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...