NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Researchers in England treated 2,000 severe COVID-19 patients with dexamethasone, and it helped save some of their lives in a clinical trial. The anti-inflammatory drug is already being used in local medical facilities to help people with severe cases.
“The study itself has very promising outcomes," Dr. Robert Mildenhall said.
Dr. Mildenhall is a critical pulmonary care specialist at TriStar Skyline Medical Center. He said they’ve been using the drug to help COVID-19 patients who are on a ventilator, and now this journal helps them feel confident in using the steroid more. ”It will definitely change our scope and practice, and how we manage our COVID patients.”
According to the study, dexamethasone reduced patient deaths by 35% if they were on a ventilator. “Hopefully either one, prevent them from getting worse, or if they have come to a critical state, will help them recover and survive the infection.”
Dr. Mildenhall said in severe cases, COVID-19 can cause complications with the lungs, heart, and kidneys. “So if you can prevent this inflammatory cascade in the body that caused all these problems, then that’s the theory between trying to treat this.”
For people with mild cases of COVID-19, the anti-inflammatory drug did not appear to help.
Dexamethasone is considered affordable and widely available. It’s used to treat arthritis, cancer, asthma, and other ailments.