By Stephen Adams for The Mail on Sunday
Published: 23:36 BST, 3 October 2020 | Updated: 23:41 BST, 3 October 2020
Most intensive care patients made critically ill by Covid-19 are now pulling through – a dramatic improvement since the spring, research suggests.
At the peak of the first wave in April, a patient admitted to intensive care with coronavirus had just a 50/50 chance of surviving.
But the odds of survival appear to have improved markedly to almost eight out of 10, according to latest figures from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC).
They show that of 211 patients admitted to intensive care this autumn – for whom outcome information is available – 165 (or 78 per cent) have been discharged from the units.
At the peak of the first wave in April, a patient admitted to intensive care with coronavirus had just a 50/50 chance of surviving, now it is approaching 80/20 - though medics caution it is too early to see if this trend is permanent
Last night, Intensive Care Society president Dr Ganesh Suntharalingam cautioned it was too early to say if Covid-19 intensive care outcomes were improving, but there was ‘good reason to hope’ they were.
One reason is British-led clinical trials, which have identified two cheap drugs – the steroids dexamethasone and hydrocortisone – that raise the odds of survival. Dexamethasone cut deaths by a third in those put on ventilators, and a fifth in those on oxygen alone, an Oxford University-led trial discovered.
Hydrocortisone also improves survival in critically-ill patients, researchers at Imperial College, London, found. It came as:More than a third of the UK population are now living under tough local restrictions, after ‘no household mixing’ rules were imposed in Liverpool, Warrington, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool; 52 people died of coronavirus in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of Covid-related deaths in the UK to 42,320; There were 12,872 new infections recorded, almost double the previous day’s figure. But officials stressed recent numbers had been artificially low due to technical issues;