Bedside trial of COVID-19 ICU patients sees hydrocortisone improve recovery

  • Researchers have found that intravenous hydrocortisone improves recovery and survival for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
  • The finding comes as a result of the REMAP-CAP trial that was set up by a group of intensive care specialists from around the world to future-proof for pandemics like COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 patients from more than 200 intensive care units around the world have been part of this adaptive randomised trial.

A global study, led from Monash University, has found that delivering intravenous hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid, improves recovery and survival for critically ill COVID-19 patients.

In March 2020, the REMAP-CAP investigators, led by intensive care clinician Professor Steve Webb from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, began randomising patients with COVID-19 to alternative hydrocortisone dosing strategies compared with patients who received no corticosteroid.

Involving 384 adult participants globally, the researchers found a 93 per cent probability that administration of hydrocortisone improved recovery and survival.  These results build on the success of existing evidence involving dexamethasone, another corticosteroid,  substantiating that this class of anti-inflammatory drugs can make a real difference in the fight against COVID-19.

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