I welcome yesterday’s announcement by researchers at Oxford University, that dexamethasone significantly reduces mortality amongst patients who are hospitalised and require oxygen or ventilation as a result of infection with COVID-19. This statement clarifies the position in Wales.
Since its inception earlier this year, every health board has been participating in the RECOVERY trial with 427 patients recruited to the study from hospitals in Wales. Yesterday’s announcement demonstrates the importance of the commitment of the NHS in Wales to participate in clinical trials and of the Welsh Government’s support for research and development.
Dexamethasone is a widely available and inexpensive medicine used every day in Wales meaning the findings of the RECOVERY trial which are described in today’s statement (17 June) by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, can be implemented immediately. The all-Wales hospital guideline for treatment of COVID-19 has been updated to take account of these findings and an alert has been issued to every NHS organisation and clinician working in Wales setting out the positive benefits of dexamethasone and advising them to consider it as a treatment option for hospitalised COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen or ventilation