17 June 2020
Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, has been approved to treat all hospitalised patients across the UK requiring oxygen, including those on ventilators, from today.
Its use is recommended for patients who are being treated in the General Hospital and who require ventilatory support only, with guidelines currently being devised for its safe use.
Adequate stocks of dexamethasone are already held in Jersey and further supplies are assured as part of the NHS supply chain.
This comes after researchers from the RECOVERY study of UK patients found that Dexamethasone cut the risk of death by 35 per cent for patients on ventilators, and for those on oxygen support, it reduced mortality by 20 per cent.
Dr Paul Hughes, Deputy Medical Director, said: "Whilst these interim results from the RECOVERY study are encouraging, the full study data has not been released and the research has not yet gone through peer review. Whilst we will not delay the use of this drug in patients who may benefit, we must be vigilant for side effects that may emerge as more patients are treated."
Health Minister, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: "I am very pleased to learn of this significant development in the treatment of the coronavirus. Our close links with the NHS mean that learning will be shared as we begin to treat those patients needing Dexamethasone.
"It is important to note that it is only for patients requiring ventilation and who are already being treated at the General Hospital. Whilst we only have one patient with COVID-19 in the hospital, it is nonetheless an important breakthrough and will provide islanders with further reassurance that they will receive the very best care and attention from our dedicated nurses and doctors."