Treating COVID-19 patients with severe complications is not only difficult but also risky as they are at high risk of death. As there is no single medicine to kill coronavirus, doctors tend to use a combination of medicines to alleviate the symptoms. A recent review suggests that seven common steroids can cut the risk of death by COVID-19 to a significant level. These new findings are urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to edit and update their recommendations on treating COVID-19 patients.
This review used data from different medicinal trials including hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, and methylprednisolone, and their effects on COVID-19 patients. They found that these commonly available steroids improve the chances of recovery from coronavirus infection even in the case of severely ill patients.
The complete findings of this review are published in the American Medical Association Journal.
This chance of survival is as much as 68% after treatment with steroids even if the patient appears to be at a death bed. These trials that were part of this review were conducted by top researchers from many international research centers situated in Brazil, Canada, China, France, UK, Spain, and the USA. It gives a clear message that using the common medicine on the sickest patient may also be helpful with no effect of age or exposure to the virus.
Jonathan Sterne from the Bristol University has also worked on this review and according to him, these steroid-based treatment is better because they are cheaper and more readily available everywhere. The review confirms that it can significantly cut the risk of death by COVID-19 which is probably the most desirable attribute whole treating any patient.
Previously, dexamethasone was announced to be the first-ever medicine that could prevent the COVID-19 related deaths after which many countries experienced a shortage of dexamethasone which is otherwise commonly available. However, this shortage was soon managed, and ever since many countries have started to use it as a part of COVID-19 therapy.
Martin Landray, from the University of Oxford, has worked on dexamethasone. According to him, these results are a light of hope for all healthcare workers who can use these medicines and save people’s lives.
The results of these trials are insightful but not conclusive. It means that steroids can improve the condition of COVID-19 patients but it doesn’t mean that they are a treatment for this deadly infection. Right now, they can be used in the clinical practices and save people from death but it can not be regarded as the ‘treatment for COVID-19”.
Many researchers and health experts have called these results good news for the patients. Finally, after months, there is something that can reduce the chances of death by COVID-19. But relying on these medicines is not recommended by anyone and they suggest to find better medicines and treatment plans for severely ill COVID-19 patients.
These results are impressive but no one should forget that they are not a cure. So the research work on coronavirus should proceed until a cure is found.