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Severely ill covid patients are treated with cortisone at several large hospitals in Sweden

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The drug dexamethasone can save severely ill covid patients, according to a new British study. SVT’s review shows that several large Swedish hospitals are already using the drug or similar preparations.

This week, the first seriously ill covid patients at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg were treated with corticosteroid dexamethasone (cortisone). A drug that has been rewritten around the world in recent days as a result of a yet unpublished British study – which showed that it can reduce the mortality rate of seriously ill covid patients.

– There are several patients with us who have received it after this study came. I think you will start using this at most clinics in the country, ”says Magnus Gisslén, an infectious physician at Sahlgrenska.

Examined thousands of patients

But it is too early to assess the effect the treatment has had on patients at Sahlgrenska, according to him.

– It is very difficult to judge it. For the individual patient you can only guess, you have to look at larger groups.

This is exactly what the researchers at Oxford University have done. More than 2,000 patients with covid-19 were treated with dexamethasone for ten days, then their disease status was compared with another group of more than 4,000 covid patients who received regular care.

The mortality rate for respiratory care patients decreased by one-third for those receiving dexamethasone compared to the other patients, according to the researchers.

The Swedish Medicines Agency gave green light

The WHO called the study a “scientific breakthrough” and in the UK it was decided to immediately start treating covid patients with dexamethasone, which is a relatively inexpensive and readily available drug. In Sweden, the Swedish Medicines Agency has provided green light for doctors to use the drug.

SVT Nyheter has been in contact with several of the university hospitals. They have all used dexamethasone or similar drugs in the treatment of patients with covid-19 (see fact box).

– It is a well-used drug that you have good control over. I think that seriously ill patients can already be treated today, said Anders Sönnerborg, professor of infectious diseases at the Karolinska Institute, in Aktuellt earlier this week.

Source: svt.se

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