Life Saving Drug Found for COVID-19 Patients on Ventilators

Modesto Morganelli
Июня 17, 2020

It's the first therapy that has been found to reduce deaths by one-third in severely ill COVID-19 patients who required ventilation.

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. "Dexamethasone is low-priced, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide", said Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, and one of the Chief Investigators for the trial.

The trial results are particularly promising as around 40 per cent of COVID-19 patients who require a ventilator end up dying, often because of the body's uncontrolled inflammatory response to the virus.

Co-lead investigator, Peter Horby, said dexamethasone - a generic steroid widely used in other diseases to reduce inflammation - is "the only drug that's so far shown to reduce mortality - and it reduces it significantly".

Steroid drugs reduce inflammation, which sometimes develops in Covid-19 patients as the immune system overreacts to fight the infection.

So far, the only other drug that has some evidence to reduce COVID-19 damage is Remdesivir, which has been used for Ebola. After four weeks, it had reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen.

She said previous studies had raised questions about the benefits of steroid use and led to recommendations against using them, but "I would be willing to believe the current data as this is a study with better methodology and control arm and because other cohorts have shown benefits in severe cases".

Cammack said that in light of the study results, dexamethasone "must now be rolled out and accessed by thousands of critically ill patients around the world".

Doctors in the United Kingdom will now begin using dexamethasone as the standard treatment for hospitalized coronavirus patients, Matt Hancock, Britain's health secretary, said.

More than 11,500 patients from 175 NHS hospitals have been enrolled on the Recovery trial since it was set up in March to test a range of potential coronavirus treatments. Presently, over 100 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of development, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). It's been used for decades to treat conditions such as arthritis and asthma.

Researchers from the University of Oxford have said that Dexamethasone, a low-priced steroid is improving survival chances of Covid-19 patients. The authors said the drug would be of no use for mild cases and only helpful for those hospitalized by the virus.

He warned however that "this drug doesn't stop you catching the disease, it doesn't stop you going into hospital with the disease" and that even when being treated with it " it's roughly one in eight who survive" so urged people not to relax their social distancing.

He said if the findings hold up, it could "make a real difference" and be a "big win for global health".

"On the dexamethasone findings, this is very encouraging because the signal on reduced mortality applies to numerous patients admitted to hospitals and the drug is comparatively low priced and available worldwide".

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