Date published: 
20 July 2020
Type: 
Webinar
Audience: 
Health sector
Webinar date : 
Wednesday, July 22 2020 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm AEST
Webinar generic image

Presenter

Dr Nick Coatsworth, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health

Questions and answers from the webinar

As the infection spreads to more regional and non-metropolitan areas, how can we ensure that these health districts are appropriately prepared to deal with COVID-19 positive patients?

The health capacity of all hospitals, be they metropolitan, rural or remote is a matter that is administered at a jurisdictional level in the relevant state or territory. That said, if COVID-19 were to spread to regional areas, other jurisdictions or the military may assist with the local pandemic response, from a public health and broader healthcare delivery perspective.

Should we use Dexamethasone as per the recovery trial?

The Australian Health Protection Principle Committee (AHPPC) statement regarding dexamethasone is as follows:

  • AHPPC notes the preliminary media reports of the results of a randomised trial of the use of dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, in the management of hospitalised patients with COVID-19.
  • Whilst only a single trial, it appears to be a large well-conducted study. The investigators reported a significant reduction in mortality in patients on mechanical ventilation and in those requiring oxygen, but not in those with less severe illness. AHPPC notes that dexamethasone appears to reduce mortality, but mortality was still 29% in ventilated patients and 22% in patients on supplemental oxygen who were treated with dexamethasone.
  • Although this seems to be an exciting development, further examination of the scientific results, when published, will be required to confirm the efficacy of dexamethasone for severe COVID-19. It is likely that dexamethasone operates by reducing inflammation of the lung in severe disease, and thus would not be expected to be useful in the prevention of COVID-19.
  • The availability of this treatment doesn’t reduce our need to prevent and control community transmission of COVID-19 as the mortality of severe COVID-19.

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Please note:

  1. 15 minutes prior to the event start time, you will only see a holding image in the video player.
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  3. If the video pauses, refresh your web browser by pressing F5 on your keyboard.