A lifesaving treatment for the severely ill, hospitalized patients with Covid-19 is used across the Uk from today, after the revolutionary findings in a trial in the United Kingdom.
It has been shown that dexamethasone – a steroid cheap and widely available – reduces deaths among patients on ventilators and on oxygen.
The chief medical officers of the Uk say that it should be used ” with immediate effect “.
And there is no problem with supplies of medicines in the United Kingdom.
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In an urgent letter to the four doctors-the heads of british clinicians in the NHS, they said that the dexamethasone had ” a clear place in the management of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 “.
The Health secretary, Matt Hancock, said in the Commons that 240 000 doses of the drug were ” in stock and on order “.
“This is in no way a cure, but it is the best news we have had “, he added.
The anti-inflammatory drug has been tested in the frame of the largest trial in the world of existing treatments to see if they could also fight against the coronavirus.
In the context of the trial conducted by a team from the University of Oxford, about 2 000 hospitalized patients received dexamethasone, compared to more than 4 000 others.
For patients on respirators, it has reduced the risk of death from 40% to 28%. For patients requiring oxygen, it reduces the risk of death from 25% to 20%.
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The researchers said this was equivalent to a life saved for every eight patients on a ventilator and a life saved for 20 to 25 patients treated with oxygen.
On Monday, June 15, 385 people with Covid-19 were under mechanical ventilation in the hospitals of the United Kingdom and hundreds of others were likely to receive oxygen.
They could all be candidates to receive dexamethasone.
The drug acts by reducing the immune system reaction of the body to Covid-19, which can often be more harmful than the virus itself.
The lead investigator, professor Peter Horby, said that it was ” the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce the mortality – and that it reduced considerably.”
“This is a major breakthrough “, he added.
However, it should not be used to treat anyone suffering from coronavirus which is not hospitalized. Its use is still in the study at the child.
Already used to reduce inflammation in a wide range of other conditions, including arthritis, asthma and certain skin diseases, the cost from the medicine will only be £ 5 per patient.
The drug is also widely available in the world.
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