“The Oxford University trial tested a low dose of steroid dexamethasone on 2104 patients for 10 days and compared the results with 4321 patients who received the usual care for COVID-19.
“The trial discovered that dexamethasone reduced the deaths by one-third in patients who were using ventilators and by one-fifth in other patients who were receiving oxygen only.
“The study found that there was no benefit in those who did not require respiratory support.
“Based on these results, one death would be prevented by treatment of around eight ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone.
“Professor Peter Horby, one of the chief investigators for the Oxford University trial, said the results were extremely welcome.
“Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19,” he said.
“The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients.
“Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”
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