Inhalers cut average recovery time in Covid patients by three days, it is reported (Image: Getty Images)
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Covid patients using asthma inhalers are recovering three days quicker, it has been reported.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said reduced hospital stays in this wave were likely the result of the vaccination programme, which has been repeatedly linked to less severe cases of coronavirus.
But the inhaler finding means doctors are now prescribing them on a "case-by-case basis", it has been reported.
The news has boosted hopes of the delayed so-called "Freedom Day" going ahead on July 19, with no further restrictions needed.
It's hoped treatments such as pumps coupled with the vaccine pressure can relieve the pressure from the NHS and avert a repeat of the first and second wave.
The vaccine programme accounts for the fall in time spent in hospital, Matt Hancock says
Sir Graham Brady, a senior figure in the Covid Recovery Group who has been critical of lockdowns, said he first asked questions about the use of inhalers after a GP told him he had treated next to no asthmatic Covid patients, The Telegraph reports.
Health minister Jo Churchill revealed to MPs a government study had found inhaled budesonide – a medicine used for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – cut recovery by an average of three days.
She also revealed it was trialled among non-hospitalised over-50s earlier in the year.
This prompted Sir Graham to question why it had not bee adopted as a recognised treatment.
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Ms Churchill told MPs: "Clinical guidance has been issued for clinicians to consider prescribing inhaled budesonide on a case-by-case basis, but inhaled budesonide is not currently recommended as the standard of care in the UK."
She said findings were only based on interim results and "full analysis is currently under way to understand the full benefit of this treatment".
"The department will continue to monitor the results as more detailed data and analysis from the trial becomes available and stand ready to adjust guidance should this be appropriate," she added.
Regarding the 20 per cent fall in hospital stay length Mr Hancock told MPs: "The best estimate I have is that the average length of stay for somebody in hospital owing to Covid has fallen from 10 days to eight days, so it has fallen to a degree, but not a huge degree.
"That is partly because of treatments, but it is also partly because some of the people in hospital have had at least one dose of the vaccine, which is highly likely to have reduced the severity of the disease."