Clinical studies show that a cheap, common steroid can help save virus infected critically-ill patients. The World Health Organization stated it would release new guidelines for treating infected patients to reflect the new findings.
The common steroid, dexamethasone has been used since 1960 to treat patients with arthritis and reduce inflammation. Trials conducted by researchers in Britain have shown the drug to decrease death rates of critically infected patients admitted in the hospital by a third.
Britain is stocking up on the new coronavirus drug
Health Minister Matt Hancock said Britain has expanded the amount of dexamethasone orders and stock to 240,000 doses.
The WHO’s new guidelines are data from the studies for health professionals and clinicians to properly treat infected patients. Also Read-Wearing a Face Mask Could Prevent Second Wave of Covid19
Some doctors are weary of the studies and say they wish to see more data. The results of the study are preliminary however, researchers say it can be used as a standard immediately for critically ill patients.
The preliminary findings of the study has shown to reduce death rate in patients on ventilators by one third, and by one fifth in patients only on oxygen support. WHO’s Director General said, “This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support.”
Further, the agency said “WHO will coordinate a meta-analysis to increase our overall understanding of this intervention. WHO clinical guidance will be updated to reflect how and when the drug should be used in COVID-19.”
South Korea’s health official urged the drug to not be used due to possible side effects. He said, “Some experts have warned of the drug not only reducing the inflammatory response in patients, but also the immune system and may trigger side effects.”