Dexamethasone

July 6, 2020

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Anchor lead: Can a steroid called dexamethasone help people with severe COVID-19 disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports

In people with severe COVID-19 disease who were on ventilators, using a steroid drug called dexamethasone reduced mortality by about a third, a very large study called the RECOVERY trial found. Brian Garibaldi, a critical care medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Garibaldi: What I think we’re really interested in seeing from this study is that it didn’t look like there was a benefit overall it was just in the patients with severe disease who were mechanically ventilated so does that mean that there was a harm in the other patients who got it? Whenever you start modulating the immune system in response to an infection you have to be concerned about secondary infections, other complications of steroids. We really need to dig into it to understand is this something that should be given to all patients? Is there only a subset of patients that should get it or is it really something that should become standard of care.  :30

Garibaldi says the complete data was not available when results were announced and the study was not peer-reviewed. He’s hopeful the results will bear up as they are analyzed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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