WHEN most new dog owners pick a name for their four-legged friends, they chose something short that best fits their personality.

But Sarah Hamilton from Southampton decided to name her rescue dog something more unusual - and now his name is more relevant than ever.

Sarah is a nurse on the children's neurosurgery ward at Southampton General Hospital.

Three years ago she adopted a German Pointer from Cyprus and decided to call him something closely related to her work - Dexamethasone or Dex for short.

Dexamethasone is a steroid that Sarah described as a "lifesaver" for many sick children in her care.

Last week, it was revealed that the drug reduces a coronavirus patient's risk of death.

Sarah said: "I decided to name him Dex, short for Dexamethasone.

"This week there has been a breakthrough in the treatment for COVID 19 when it was discovered that Dexamethasone is helping people recover.

"I have received lots of messages from friends laughing and pointing out that Dex truly has a wonderful name.

"I deal with a lot of incredibly sick children in my line of work; from traumatic brain injuries and severe brain infections to devastating brain tumours- it can be a lot to deal with.

"Walking with Dex allows me space to process those things and he has been such a God-send to me."

Dexamethasone works to reduce inflammation and was hailed by the Prime Minister as the "biggest breakthrough yet" in coronavirus treatment.

At the University of Oxford, trials into the use of dexamethasone have been underway since March.

A team there recruited 2,104 patients to receive the drug once a day for ten days and the outcome was compared to further 4,321 patients.

The death rate for those with coronavirus who are on a ventilator is at 40 per cent, however with the use of this drug the mortality rate was cut by a third.