Dexamethasone reduces death in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19
16 June 2020
The RECOVERY trial tests a range of potential treatments for COVID-19, including low-dose dexamethasone (a steroid treatment). Patients were randomised to receive dexamethasone 6 mg once per day for ten days and were compared with patients receiving usual care alone. Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients and by one-fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only; there was no benefit among those patients who did not require respiratory support. Based on these results, 1 death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone.