The University of Oxford’s RECOVERY trial has found that a cheap and widely available steroid provides a benefit in COVID-19 patients and should become standard of care in patients sick enough to require oxygen.
“Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide,” said Peter Horby, one of the chief investigators of the trial, which compared 2,104 patients who received the drug with 4,321 patients who received standard care alone.
The dexamethasone arm of the trial demonstrated that the steroid reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients and by one-fifth in patients only receiving oxygen. There was no benefit for those who did not require respiratory support.
The results of the trial have yet to be peer reviewed and published. — Jordan Williams