Throughout the years, comic books have been used to teach people about everything from the benefits of the Social Security system to the history of the Cup Noodle. Now, a British doctor is using the medium to introduce the world - and especially his medical profession colleagues - to a drug that could prevent tens of thousands of trauma patients from bleeding to death every year.
Dr. Ian Roberts has been a believer in a drug called tranexamic acid (TXA) that improves blood clotting for some time, and he has scientific evidence to back up his faith; a 2005 study he launched demonstrated that patients who received the drug within three hours of suffering a traumatic injury were "significantly less likely" to bleed to death than those who didn't. Despite the study's results, however, there hasn't been a massive rush to use TXA in everyday medical practice, even in casualty or trauma circumstances.
"You can find something that's true, publish it in [medical journal] The Lancet, wash your hands of it, and say, 'Well that's that,' but that doesn't seem very responsible. Getting research into practice takes a long time," Roberts explained. "Science is very good at finding the answer to whether a treatment works, but it's very bad at helping you to remember that that treatment is effective. What people remember are stories - emotional stories."
And so Roberts turned to artist Emma Vieceli to create a comic book that would show TXA in use following a bomb explosion, with fictional doctors demonstrating its importance in a way that a dry study could never quite manage. However, Vieceli and Roberts didn't stop there when it came to upping the appeal of TXA: "We also tried to make doctors giving tranexamic acid look sexier than doctors [who didn't]," Roberts admitted.
Click through to see the comic