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Covid-19: Low dose steroid cuts death in ventilated patients by one third, trial finds

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2422 (Published 16 June 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2422

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Low dose dexamethasone reduces deaths in patients hospitalised with covid-19 who need ventilation, according to preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial.

The drug was also found to reduce deaths by one fifth in other hospitalised patients receiving oxygen only, but no benefit was seen among covid-19 patients who did not need respiratory support.

The chief investigators from the University of Oxford trial said that the findings represent a “major breakthrough” which is “globally applicable” as the drug is cheap and readily available.

All NHS hospitals will be told in the next 24 hours how they should act on these results.

For the randomised controlled trial, the team recruited 2104 patients for the dexamethasone arm (6 mg once daily, taken orally or by injection for 10 days) and compared them with 4321 patients receiving standard care.

In a statement outlining the preliminary results, researchers …

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