Pneumonia patients can benefit from steroid therapy
The study indicated that patients with community-acquired pneumonia who were treated with corticosteroids were discharged from hospitals one day sooner and the need for mechanical ventilation was reduced.
The second most common cause of premature mortality around the world is lower respiratory infections. Developed countries frequently hospitalize people who contract community-acquired pneumonia. This infection is typically related to acute respiratory distress syndrome, which requires mechanical ventilation.
The study involved several international collaborators analyzing data from 13 randomized trials involving over 2,000 patients.
"Our study should lead to an important change in treatment for pneumonia," McMaster Physician and Graduate Student Reed Siemieniuk said. "Corticosteroids are inexpensive and readily available around the world. Millions of patients will benefit from this new evidence."
The discovery could change how the health community around the world treats respiratory infections.
"Seldom do we see a major advance in treatment of a condition as common as community-acquired pneumonia," McMaster Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Gordon Guyatt said. "Corticosteroids over short periods are safe, and we now know that they achieve important benefits in a serious and common medical illness."