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Coronavirus breakthrough: Steroid dexamethasone reduces COVID-19 deaths by a third

It can save every 1 in 8 patients on ventilator

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 16, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Jun 16, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

Photo: WedMD/ webmd.com

Widely available steroid drug dexamethasone has been found to reduce deaths among severely ill COVID-19 patients in a major breakthrough, reported Reuters on Tuesday.

The breakthrough was made at the ongoing Recovery Trial, the largest trial of its kind testing different treatments on patients with COVID-19, at the Oxford University.

Over 11,500 patients have been enrolled in this trial from over 175 NHS hospitals in the UK.

Around 2,000 patients hospitalised due to COVID-19 were administered dexamethasone as a form of treatment. They were compared with a control group of more than 4,000 who were not given the drug.

The death risks declined drastically. It went down from 40% to 28% in patients on ventilators and 25% to 20% for those who required oxygen.

“This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough,” said Chief Investigator Prof Peter Horby, reported the BBC.

The drug can save one life for every eight patients on a ventilator and for every 20-25 patients on oxygen, said the study’s Lead Researcher Prof Martin Landray.

Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory drug that belongs to a class called corticosteroids. It greatly reduces inflammation and can alter the body’s immune response.

It is used for swelling associated with tumours, allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders and cancer treatment.

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