Coronavirus: Dexamethasone could increase the risk of death in COVID-19 patients
New Delhi : Coronavirus continues to plague the world and forces us to live in fear and panic. While the world is working hard to find a cure or a vaccine that can help in bringing this highly contagious virus under control. But even if the researchers are successful in finding a vaccine, it will take a long time for time for it to reach people across the globe or for herd immunity.
In the midst of all this chaos, the researchers have been successful in finding antiviral medicines which can be administered to coronavirus patients and can have a positive impact on their health. There are also certain existing medications which are known to aid patients in their fight against coronavirus. One such medicine is dexamethasone.
Research shows that this medicine dexamethasone can save lives and reduce deaths in roughly one-third people on ventilator and one-fifth of those who need oxygen. These findings have also been verified by a study led by Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System. This study also helps us understand who all might benefit from this medicine and who might not. This medicine is basically a sort of steroid and is often used for cancer patients as well. In order to understand who will benefit from this medicine, a blood test is run to identify inflammatory proteins. This is how doctors decide which patient will benefit from the steroid dexamethasone.
The liver produces C-reactive protein (CRP) in response to inflammation. Ideally, our body should have 0.8 ml per deciliter of blood or lesser. For coronavirus patients who are on a ventilator and have a CRP level higher than 20, steroid therapy can reduce the risk of death by 75 per cent whereas in patients who have less than 10 CRP levels using steroids could lead to death. This increases the risk of death by nearly 200 per cent.