Cheap steroids could save lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients, studies around the world are starting to show.
Hydrocortisone, a cheap and widely available steroid, and dexamethasone have been found to be effective in reducing mortally in patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Trials led by the NHS and many leading universities uncovered that severe patients who were treated with hydrocortisone for seven days had a 93% chance of a better recovery compared to patients who were not treated with the steroid.
Meanwhile, treatment with one of dexamethasone, hydrocortisone or methylprednisolone can lead to an estimated 20% reduction in the risk of death.
The steroids do not work for those with milder symptoms, but the evidence strongly suggests that they reduce the lung inflammation in patients with COVID-19 who are seriously ill and require oxygen support for their breathing difficulties, regardless of age or sex.
“Steroids are a cheap and readily available medication, and our analysis has confirmed that they are effective in reducing deaths amongst the people most severely affected by Covid-19,” said Jonathan Sterne, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Bristol University.
It is already being widely used in the UK and has undergone various trials within its hospitals system. Cheap costs and effective use means it could likely be used in Malta as well.
Malta’s number of active cases is currently at 428 after 22 new cases and 37 new recoveries were announced yesterday. Active cases have slowly dropped following a recent COVID-19 spike. Some still remain in ITU with the latest figures showing that at least three people were currently in the ward.
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