UPMC, Global researchers find corticosteroids can reduce risk of death in COVID-19 patients

Local News

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) — Doctors and medical researchers around the world continue to search for treatments for the Coronavirus and a vaccine.

UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh are a part of a global trial that’s produced some encouraging results on a potential treatment.

The study, published on Wednesday, found that a type of medication that’s easily available can reduce the risk of death for critically ill COVID-19 patients by 20 percent.

Corticosteroids are drugs that suppress inflammation, and they’re often used for asthma and lupus.

They were given to COVID-19 patients as part of a different kind of study.

Usually when medical research is done, the results aren’t combined with other studies. But this study consists of seven clinical trials, including the UPMC-Pitt effort that involved 121 hospitals in eight countries.

“It’s a way of thinking about how we can have a structure where we’re trying to learn from every patient we are treating. For example, in this trial, when someone in Amsterdam agrees to be enrolled in this trial, they produce data that can then help us treat someone in Altoona,” Dr. Derek Angus from the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh said.

The results of this study suggest that corticosteroids will help critically ill patients, so those people who are put on ventilators or other life-sustaining machines while hospitalized due to COVID-19.

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