Dexamethasone, the steroid widely used is the first drug showing positive signs in saving lives of COVID-19 patients. Scientists refer to this as a breakthrough during the pandemic.
As per the results after the trials, dexamethasone reduced the death rate by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital. This steroid used to decrease inflammation in diseases such as arthritis.
However, there is no formal publishing of the results. Many scientists are hoping to examine the results of dexamethasone in COVID-19 patients.
The health ministry of Britain approved the usage of this drug in state-run health services.
This trial is termed as RECOVERY trial. COVID-19 patients who are on ventilators, and upon giving dexamethasone their lives can be saved, said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor co-leading the trial. Dexamethasone, a cheap steroid, thus saving the lives of critical COVID-19 patients will be at low cost.
“For less than 50 pounds ($63), you can treat eight patients and save a life,” said Martin. He further added that it prevented one death in every 25 COVID-19 patients on oxygen that received the drug.
His co-lead investigator, Peter Horby, called dexamethasone “a major breakthrough.”
Till now there is no treatment for COVID-19. However, only Remdesivir showed some help by reducing the recovery time among COVID-19 patients.
Hospitals Are Using Dexamethasone On A Case-By-Case Casis
2,100 patients were given steroid, and their result was compared to around 4,300 patients who did not have steroid. However, the results of the trial are yet to be formally published.
Further, Reuter reported as told by Dr Thomas McGinn that physicians at Northwell hospitals are using Dexamethasone on a case-by-case basis. This is so because these steroids can hamper patients’ immune system thus making them vulnerable for other infections. Dr Thomas McGinn is a deputy physician-in-chief at Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare system.
He said that if the data is peer-reviewed and legitimised, it could spread the use of steroids in the sickest COVID-19 patients.
“Across the country now intensivists have been using it based on their judgment calls. If this is legitimate, you may find … instead of say five out of 10 intensive-care COVID patients getting it, maybe everybody would get it,” McGinn said.