The risk of dying in hospital from coronavirus may have almost halved in the second wave, when compared with the first period of the pandemic, current affairs show Nieuwsuur has reported.
Research involving almost 1,000 patients at eight Dutch hospitals shows a 47% drop in the number of people dying when compared with the first wave, Nieuwsuur said.
Leiden professor Menno Huisman, one of the research project leaders, told the programme that better methods of treatment are likely to be responsible. ‘We think that using the anti-inflammatory drug Dexamethasone may have had a beneficial impact on survival,’ he said.
The researchers followed 947 corona patients from September 1 to November 30, in both intensive care units and general wards, and compared them with 579 similar patients from the first wave.
Of the 947 patients, 358 were at one point admitted to intensive care and 144 died. The mortality rate was therefore 15%, almost a half compared to that of the first group.
The study was set up to look at possible complications involving thrombosis. While the treatment had no impact on thrombosis, ‘we were surprised by the decrease in the mortality rate,’ Huisman said.
The World Health Organisation said in June that Dexamthasone appeared to have an impact on patients who are seriously ill with coronavirus.
‘It was tested on hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in the United Kingdom’s national clinical trial and was found to have benefits for critically ill patients,’ the WHO said.
‘According to preliminary findings shared with WHO (and now available as a preprint), for patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth.’
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