WHO recommends corticosteroid for critical Covid-19 patients

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 12, 2020

The World Health Organization has collaborated with the MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation to come up with ‘living Covid-19 guidance’ focusing on corticosteroid use.

Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex of vertebrates, as well as the synthetic analogs of these hormones. These steroids are inexpensive and deemed as essential medicines by the WHO.

The guidance strongly recommends systemic corticosteroids in patients with severe and critical Covid-19. The guidance also includes a conditional recommendation of corticosteroids for patients with non-severe Covid-19.

The report published in the British Medical Journal stated that content experts, patients, clinicians, and methodologists from all around the world came together to produce recommendations for clinical practice.

They mentioned in their study that systemic corticosteroids reduce the need for invasive mechanical ventilation and its harms are likely to be nil.

The experts, however, mentioned that systemic corticosteroids may increase the risk of death in patients without severe covid-19.

We recommend systemic corticosteroids rather than no systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of patients with severe and critical covid-19 (strong recommendation, based on moderate certainty evidence), the experts noted in their guidance.

The experts explained in the study that patients with non-severe covid-19 would not normally require acute care in a hospital or respiratory support.

However, in some jurisdictions, these patients may be hospitalized for isolation purposes only, in which case they should not be treated with systemic corticosteroids.

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Published on September 12, 2020
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