UK could have avoided 5,000 Covid deaths if Dexamethasone was used from start

16 June 2020, 17:42 | Updated: 16 June 2020, 18:36

By Seán Hickey

One of the chief investigators that found Dexamethasone to reduce the risk of death from Covid-19 said that thousands of lives could have been saved.

Martin Landray is the Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford and was one of the leaders of the trials into Dexamethasone.

He told Eddie Mair that "the trial has covered 175 hospitals right the way across the UK and produced really quite compelling results" in showing that there is a 35% reduction in risk of death in patients on ventilators with Covid-19 when Dexamethasone is used.

This shows "big reductions in the risk of dying if you're on a ventilator" and is a major step in the global effort to fight coronavirus.

The health expert told Eddie that "if we had known this at the beginning of the epidemic in the uk then maybe we would have been able to save 5,000 lives."

Dexamethasone has been shown through trials to reduce the risk of death
Dexamethasone has been shown through trials to reduce the risk of death. Picture: PA

He stressed to Eddie that the "biggest benefit is for people who are on ventilators" and added that "it doesn't work for the people who have Covid and are in hospitals but their lungs are fine."

In a summary, the professor told listeners that "the sicker you are the more effective it is."

Eddie was positive in his evaluation of Professor Landray's results, whereby the chief investigator dubbed it "a beautiful result, it's a lovely result."

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