Name of study: Pregnant women with Covid-19 are more likely to need emergency deliveries if symptomatic
By who and where: Anesthesiology 2021 annual meeting, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York
What does it say?
✥ Pregnant women are at a greater risk of having a severe course of Covid-19
✥ They are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, or even die
✥ The chance is higher that they may give birth to children who need oxygen support or admission into a neonatal intensive care unit
Covid is a risk factor
Dr Sunil Eshwar, Lead Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aster RV Hospital, Bengaluru
The introduction of any pathogen into a pregnant woman’s body could have varying effects depending on the type of pathogen and the stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women are known to have a decreased immune response. Should they contract Covid, the situation worsens and may lead to an early delivery. The inflammatory response by an infection is one of the most common reasons that pre-term delivery is triggered. Maintaining physical distance, masking, and most importantly, being vaccinated against Covid-19 are the best strategies to protect oneself and the baby during pregnancy.
Too early to conclude
Dr Kaberi Banerjee, Medical Director, Advanced Fertility and Gynaecology Centre, New Delhi
It is still too early to jump to such alarming conclusions. Firstly, this is a single centre study and secondly, only about 100 pregnant women were included. Such studies need to be conducted on a larger sample size and in multiple centres to come to a definitive conclusion. The real problem is that women are shying away from hospitals even if they need to go for a check-up or vaccination. This makes them prone to infections in general, and not just Covid-19, leading to health problems. Because of this, they find themselves in emergency care.