Timely treatment with tocilizumab likely to improve clinical
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A group of researchers at US' Birmingham have claimed that a rheumatoid-arthritis drug called tocilizumab can help reduce the risk of mortality in severe COVID-19 patients in a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers investigated the effects of tocilizumab on 3,924 critically ill patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19.

These patients were divided into those who took tocilizumab within the first two days of ICU admission and those who did not. The patients were then followed up with for 28 days to see if they had been discharged, were still hospitalised or had died.

Key Insights from the Study:

• Of the 3,924 patients, 52.4% were discharged, 39.3% died and the rest were still hospitalised by the end of Day 28. Out of the patients who died, only 28.9% belonged to the tocilizumab group.

• Those who received tocilizumab had a median follow up of about 26 days while those who did not receive the drug had a median follow up of 27 days.

• Estimated 30-day mortality in the tocilizumab group was at about 27.5% while that in the non-tocilizumab group, it was 37.1 %.

Conclusion:

Patients with severe COVID-19 are likely to have short-term mortality rates (death before 90 days of hospitalisation) between 35 percent to 62 percent.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2772185
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