Six months after the start of the pandemicCOVID-19, which claimed more than 450 thousand lives worldwide, researchers from the UK claim to have discovered a drug that is the first effective drug that can prevent death from SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Dexamethasone reduces mortality among patients with severe forms of the new coronavirus requiring oxygen support or mechanical ventilation. It is noteworthy that no improvement was found among patients with a milder form of the disease. The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhan Ghebreyesus called the study of dexamethosone treatment a scientific breakthrough, despite the fact that the results are preliminary.
How to save patients on mechanical ventilation?
Clinical trial leaders reportRecovery, dexamethasone can prevent one of eight deaths among patients with the most severe course of the disease and one life out of 25 among those who are connected to a ventilator or receive oxygen.
By the way, if you think that dexamethasone wasjust invented, you are mistaken. It turns out that this is a well-known drug, created in 1957, and very cheap. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with an anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressing effect, which is used against severe allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. WHO considers it an important drug for any health system. According to the authors of the work in the official press release of the study, dexamethasone is the first drug that improves the survival of patients with severe covid-19. The drug is cheap and available in pharmacies, which means it can be used today, which will save the lives of people around the world.
Despite the fact that the results obtained arepreliminary, they are clear - dexamethasone reduces the risk of death in patients with severe respiratory complications. The fact that a medicine that can save the lives of critically ill patients is available around the world is amazing!
Oxford University physician Martin Landray, co-author of the study.
As the Spanish El Pais writes, during the first partthe study analyzed the status of 2,104 infected people who were randomly selected for dexamethasone. Scientists compared their changes in state with the changes in 4321 patients who received standard care during covid-19 treatment. The results showed that mortality among patients on mechanical ventilation was 41%, while mortality among moderate patients was 25%. Mortality among patients with a not severe course of the disease was at the level of 13%. Thus, dexamethasone reduced mortality among critically ill patients by one third and by one fifth in patients with moderate severity. In mild cases of covid-19, no effect was observed.
Dexamethasone Is a steroid drug that is usedsince the 1960s as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Scientists from Oxford University have been studying the drug since March 2020.
The results are especially positive because theyfollowed shortly after the lead authors of the study announced that one of the most promising drugs against covid-19 - hydroxychloroquine - did not have a positive effect on hospitalized patients. A British study also tests the effectiveness of other treatments, including the plasma of recovered patients.
It should be noted that preliminaryThe results of the new study confirm the findings of a number of previous studies that highlighted the benefits of this drug, including a retrospective study of about 400 patients conducted at the Puerta de Hierro Hospital in Madrid. Work not yet reviewed by independent experts shows that corticoids reduce mortality from covid-19 among patients on mechanical ventilation by 41%. About why 88% of patients connected to a ventilator die, read the article by my colleague Artem Sutyagin.
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Another study conducted in Spain beforepandemics, published in the medical journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, indicated that dexamethasone relieves pneumonia caused by severe infections. But despite the existing results, according to researchers, there is still a long way to go before dexamethasone is finally approved for use. For example, before starting treatment, it is necessary to determine which patients should be given the drug, when and in what doses.
When will the coronavirus vaccine be ready?
Despite widespread fatigue fromrestrictive measures and the desire to quickly return to normal life, changes - including periodic lockdowns - with us for a long time. This may seem surprising, as scientists around the world are working on at least 135 different variants of the covid-19 vaccine; in a number of countries, including Russia, human trials have begun; in the USA and China, the first clinical trials in humans have been successful.
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It would seem that the vaccine is ready in five minutes, butthe end of the pandemic will come only when it will be available to every inhabitant of our planet. And the population of the Earth, if you remember, is currently 7,792,086,333. Humanity will certainly defeat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, but this fight will last a long time.