Pregnant patients may be at increased risk of serious complications from COVID-19, CDC says
Pregnant patients who contract COVID-19 may be at a higher risk of intensive care hospitalization and being put on a ventilator, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The new data released (Wednesday) suggests a different level of risk for pregnant patients than previously indicated by previous data,” said Dr. Christopher Zahn, vice president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in a report. communicated.
The overall risk of an intensive care stay or ventilation still remains low, Zahn said. And, most importantly, “pregnant patients do not appear to have an increased risk of death associated with COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant patients of the same age group,” he said.
The CDC data comes from a recently published study of thousands of pregnant COVID-19 patients.
According to the study, about a third of pregnant women with COVID-19 were hospitalized, compared to 6% of non-pregnant women with COVID-19.
In the United States, about 10,000 pregnant women have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 26 have died, according to the CDC. About 3,000 were hospitalized.
The Alabama Department of Public Health does not release the number of pregnant coronavirus cases in Alabama, but tracks the underlying medical conditions for the confirmed deaths. As of June 26, none of the 887 Alabamian women who died from COVID-19 were pregnant.
A small number of pregnant patients with COVID-19 in Alabama have had conditions severe enough to place them in intensive care units, said Dr Alan Tita, director of the UAB Center for Women’s Reproductive Health and professor of maternal medicine and fetal at UAB.
He said he hadn’t noticed that pregnant patients were more likely than others in their age group to be admitted to intensive care or put on ventilators, but the small number made it difficult to observe patients. state level trends.
“Pregnant women have had severe cases (of COVID-19), but to say it’s more severe than what you see in the general population of childbearing age is not something that has struck, “he said. The new data deserves a closer look, he said, but it’s not a total surprise. During the H1N1 flu epidemic in 2009, pregnant women had more serious infections than non-pregnant women, he said.
He said there was not enough evidence to show that the coronavirus passes from mother to baby in the womb, although there have been cases of infants who have contracted the disease.
At this time, Tita said pregnant women should take all possible precautions to avoid coronavirus infection, including wearing masks in public, social distancing, hand washing and disinfection when possible. . Don’t skip prenatal appointments with the obstetrician, he said, and use telehealth visits when recommended.
“It is a very distressing situation,” he said, “and it is something that we will continue to examine, to see if there is any indication to modify the current (medical) recommendations for pregnant women. . “
He stressed that it is still rare for a pregnant patient to have to be ventilated or placed in an intensive care unit for COVID-19.
“The main thing is that everyone does everything to prevent this,” he said. “Do everything in your power to prevent COVID-19 infection by following CDC guidelines, whether you are pregnant or not. “