LONDON

A steroid has been found to reduce deaths in critically ill coronavirus patients, according to a new research.

London-based Imperial College Healthcare said in a press release Wednesday the anti-inflammatory drug hydrocortisone will be used in Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre co-authored the study.

They found that the chances of recovery in patients treated with hydrocortisone for a week increased by 93% than those who were not given the treatment.

Another steroid, dexamethasone, is already being widely used after being found to be effective in treating coronavirus.

Professor Anthony Gordon, who led the research, said: “The studies published today show that we now have more than one choice of treatment for those who need it most.

“Steroids are not a cure, but they help improve outcomes. Having a choice of different types of steroids, all of which seem to improve patient recovery, is great as it helps ease the problem of drug supply issues.”

The researchers added that neither hydrocortisone not dexamethasone was better than the either, but having more options was better than fewer, and gives doctors a wider array of drugs to choose from.

The steroids have a limited impact on patients with mild symptoms, but can reduce lung inflammation in seriously ill patients.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Just as we did with dexamethasone, the NHS will now take immediate action to ensure that patients who could benefit from treatment with hydrocortisone do so, adding a further weapon in the armoury in the worldwide fight against COVID-19.”

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