Former coronavirus patient ‘elated’ at breakthrough drug news
PUBLISHED: 11:43 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:02 19 June 2020
A former coronavirus patient is elated that a clinical trial he was involved in has led to other patients receiving access to a drug that can reduce the risk of virus-related deaths.
Research shows the steroid dexamethasone cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and a reduction of a fifth for patients on oxygen.
It comes after months of clinical trial research which included more than 100 coronavirus patients enrolled from Norfolk’s three hospitals.
This week hospitals have begun offering the steroid to patients.
Among them was Graeme Brammall, from Cromer, who was in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for nine days after contracting the virus and was among the first signed up to the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy).
Mr Brammall was among 53 NNUH patients that took part in the study.
More: “People have to step up to the mark” - how coronavirus survivor was among first on national clinical trials
The father-of-six said: “I am elated. If you don’t try it you do not know and if it saves people, it has been worth it.
“It shows people aren’t just sitting back and taking their time.
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“It’s a challenge for everybody, even the medical profession, they are challenged to get the health of the country back to normal as quickly as possible.”
More: Norfolk hospitals reveal the number of people still being treated for coronavirus
Mr Brammall was treated on a high dependency ward, requiring oxygen as he struggled to breath.
The 57-year-old said: “Everybody asks me how I go it and I honestly do not know myself.
“What concerns me is there are a lot of people who go out and they believe they are invisible.
“I’m normally a pretty strong person, everyone cannot believe that I got it. If I can get anyone can get it and it saves people from being blasé and make them think a little bit, even if saves just one life.”
Research teams at all of the county’s hospitals have called the news “tremendous”.
Dr Eleanor Mishra, NNUH respiratory consultant, said: “This is a very significant development and we are proud to be playing our part in this significant study, which is testing medications that are safely used for other conditions.”
At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, 46 patients took part in the trial.
Dr Frankie Swords, the hospital’s medical director added: “We are also pleased to confirm that we are now offering dexamethasone for appropriate patients and this has been built into our hospital clinical guideline.”
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