Some legendary names came out to play for this article regarding corticosteroids in COVID-19. Meduri is the author of the famous Meduri Protocol for methylprednisolone in ARDS and Villar is the author of the article I shared on February 13th (seems like forever ago, really) where they provided dexamethasone for ARDS and showed a mortality benefit amongst many others. I personally like looking into strategies such as corticosteroids as they are inexpensive and available worldwide.
You can’t really count on third world countries obtaining a -zumab drug. This paper is an opinion piece and is missing formal RCT data. I recommend you read the article yourself and don’t trust me. This is not medical advice but I am carefully administering corticosteroids to my COVID patients based on certain clinical and laboratory criteria. It is a custom tailored approach so I can’t say exactly what I’m doing. Every patients is different. I am trying to reach for dexamethasone to avoid my team having to go into the room numerous times a day to give a medication.
CLICK HERE to learn why I use methylprednisolone rather than dexamethasone in my COVID patients.
Corticosteroids for Cytokine Storm in COVID-19
The authors state that the cytokine storm is what kills COVID patients. I do not disagree with this. You watch the ferritin and CRP spike up and the patient get sicker (we don’t have IL-6 at our shop). Their O2 requirement goes up, their renal function starts to worsen. Things get ugly and in a hurry. Some use the -zumab drugs which we have all have a certain allocation of and is expensive, but what if we can reach for plentiful and cheap steroids instead? We all know the adverse reactions to this. The authors cite how the WHO guidelines on steroids is misleading and potentially harmful.
The Evidence for Steroids in ARDS
We do not have great studies in all this. We have harped on this enough. The authors acknowledge this and pull observational data from Wuhan where there was a decreased risk of death for giving methylprednisolone to the patients in ARDS. They acknowledge that randomized controlled trials are ongoing but that we should not withhold giving patients steroids in the ICU for ARDS in lieu of study results. I know I’m not allowing my patients to wait themselves.
Simple yes or no question to you all: Are your teams providing steroids to your COVID patients?
Click here for breakdowns of other COVID-19 Articles.
There is new data regarding dexamethasone in COVID-induced ARDS that you can check out HERE.
Villar, Jesús MD, PhD; Confalonieri, Marco MD; Pastores, Stephen M. MD, MACP, FCCP, FCCM; Meduri, G. Umberto MD. Rationale for Prolonged Corticosteroid Treatment in the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Caused by Coronavirus Disease 2019, Critical Care Explorations: April 2020 – Volume 2 – Issue 4 – p e0111 doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000111
Link to Article
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