Covid infection triggered caesarean sections and premature births in the first wave

When the pandemic broke out in March last year, pregnant women about to give birth were especially concerned about their deliveries . How would the Covid pandemic affect deliveries? What would the new protocols look like?

At that time there were many doubts and few certainties about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And now we know of a multicenter study of the first wave of the pandemic led by the Gregorio Marañón General University Hospital, in which the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) participates, which has identified that infection and the development of pneumonia are related to a increased risk of cesarean section and premature delivery .

The Covid antibodies that the pregnant woman transfers to the baby are lost in the first six months after delivery 

  • IN BABIES AND MORE
  • The Covid antibodies that the pregnant woman transfers to the baby are lost in the first six months after delivery

The cesarean section rate reached 36.2 percent, when the usual is around 22 percent, while premature deliveries reached 20.6 percent when the average is 7 percent.

The risk of developing severe pneumonia

The study, published in the journal ‘BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth’ , was conducted between March 15 and July 30, 2020 in 13 Spanish hospitals. It was attended by 105 women pregnant and diagnosed with Covid-19 with an average age of 34 years and 107 newborns. 30.8% of the pregnant women suffered pneumonia and 4.8% were admitted to the ICU with the need for mechanical ventilation.

“The infection of SARS-CoV-2 can suppose a greater morbidity for the pregnant woman if pneumonia develops, with different profiles of severity”, warns Itziar Carrasco, researcher of the Faculty of Medicine of the UCM and of the Service of Pediatric Infectious Diseases from the Gregorio Marañón Hospital.

The anatomical, physiological, and immunological changes that accompany pregnancy can increase a pregnant woman’s susceptibility to viruses and increase the risk of developing severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.

This infection can force the patient to be transferred to the ICU or intubated, two situations that in the case of pregnant women put their life and that of the baby at risk.

All CRPs performed on newborns were negative at birth, one was positive at 15 days of age, and two babies died, one due to causes related to prematurity and the other due to sudden death syndrome during the first 24 hours after birth. Birth.

“The study was a challenge as it needed samples from infected pregnant women at the time of delivery, such as blood and placenta, at a time when the situation was completely unknown and there was a lot of uncertainty about the possible routes of transmission,” he acknowledges. Carrasco.

Positive for COVID-19 in pregnant women does not justify early delivery 

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  • The ignorance of the first wave

The subsequent waves are currently being investigated since July 2020 and have already been able to warn “less impact and morbidity” in pregnant women , thanks to the greater knowledge of the virus and the advance of security measures.

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