Representational image for hydroxychloroquine drug. Courtesy: CNBC

Hydroxychloroquine Increases COVID-19 Patients' Mortality Rate: Study

A study shows serious COVID-19 patients who were given hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as treatment are more likely to die.

An observational study published on Friday in the medical journal The Lancet found that these patients not only would die but they are at the risk of developing dangerous heart arrhythmias.

A CNN report stated that the researchers analysed data of over 96,000 COVID-19 from 671 hospitals.

As per the report, these patients were hospitalized from December 2019 to April 2020 and they had either died or were discharged by April 21, 2020.

Of all the patients, approximately 15,000 patients were given hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, or one of those drugs combined with an antibiotic.

The study revealed that all these four treatments were linked with a higher death rate- mostly in hospitals.

According to the CNN report, approximately 1 in 11 patients in the control group died in the hospital.

The report further revealed that around 1 in 6 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine alone died in the hospital.

The report further informed that 1 in 5 patients who were treated with chloroquine and an antibiotic died.

"Around 1 in 4 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic died in the hospital," the study revealed.

The study also found that serious cardiac arrhythmias were more common among patients who received either of the four treatments.

According to the study 8 per cent of the patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic developed a heart arrhythmia.

“Previous small-scale studies have failed to identify robust evidence of a benefit and larger, randomised controlled trials are not yet completed,” reported CNN quoting director of the Heart Center at University Hospital Zurich Dr Frank Ruschitzka.

“However, we now know from our study that the chance that these medications improve outcomes in COVID-19 is quite low," Ruschitzka further said.

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