Study finds steroid treatments could help severe COVID-19 patients

A readily available steroid could be key in helping people win their coronavirus fight. This is big news because it's yet one more thing that can at least improve the health of COVID-19 patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a strong recommendation Tuesday, calling on doctors to use steroids to treat severe cases of the coronavirus. "Using something that’s an anti-inflammatory would make sense. And the strongest anti-inflammatory we know is cortisone-like steroids," said Dr. Todd Husty, the EMS medical director for Seminole County. 

He says inflammation is a primary outcome of COVID-19, so cortisone-like steroids are a no-brainer. 

He says many doctors are already using them to treat COVID. "I know a few of those doctors and they say they’ve had really good success with it."

The WHO made the recommendation after completing a study that found with these steroids, there were 8.7% fewer deaths among the critically ill and 6.7% fewer deaths among severe COVID patients. 

These steroids have other benefits too, including a few side effects: they're cheap and, "it’s been in just about every country in the world since the late 70's so it’s very available."

The World Health Organization says steroids should only be used for severe cases. Dr. Husty thinks it could also be used in patients where there is potential to become severe, but agrees mild cases are best treated without steroids.