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Life-Saving Coronavirus Drug Available In Jersey

A drug that can cut the risk of coronavirus deaths by around a third for patients on ventilators will be made available for use at the General Hospital.

Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, has been approved to treat patients needing ventilation support. Guidelines are currently being devised for its safe use.

The government says adequate stocks of the drug are already held in Jersey - and that further supplies are assured as part of the NHS supply chain.

Research from the RECOVERY study of UK patients found that Dexamethasone cut the risk of death by up to 35% and reduced mortality for those on oxygen support by 20%.

"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." - Deputy Richard Renouf, Health Minister.

Deputy Medical Director, Dr. Paul Hughes, says while the interim study results 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."

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