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How COVID-19 Could Bring Adverse Complications For Pregnant Women

A new study finds an increased risk of poorer outcomes for the newborns and symptomatic women with Covid

How COVID-19 Could Bring Adverse Complications For Pregnant Women
Highlights
  • Covid in the third trimester of pregnancy has clinical implications: Study
  • Covid patients have risk of higher rates of gestational diabetes: Study
  • No significant increase in cesarean delivery in Covid positive women: Study

London: Assessing 2,471 women in the third trimester of their pregnancy, close to their delivery, researchers found “significant differences” for symptomatic covid positive patients including higher rates of gestational diabetes, lower white blood cell counts, and heavier bleeding during delivery, whilst respiratory complications were witnessed in their babies. The peer-reviewed findings were published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.

Also Read: Mix-and-match Vaccines Highly Effective Against COVID-19: Lancet Study

The study finds an increased risk of poorer outcomes for the newborns and symptomatic women with COVID-19, which adds further weight to the argument for pregnant women to be vaccinated for the virus. Thankfully in the group of patients — which included 172 covid positive women (56 of whom were symptomatic)– monitored at the Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Israel, only one person needed mechanical ventilation, and there were no maternal deaths. They show, lead Dr Elior Eliasi stated that COVID-19 in the third trimester of pregnancy “has clinical implications, albeit at lower rates than expected once asymptomatic patients are taken into account.”

The analysis found that there was no significant increase in cesarean delivery in women, who were COVID-19 positive and the incidence of preterm deliveries was not significantly different among the three groups (healthy, covid positive asymptomatic, covid positive symptomatic). Most pregnancy and delivery outcomes were similar between COVID-19-positive and -negative parturients (a woman about to give birth; in labour). Dr Eliasi said,

However, there were significant differences between the COVID-19-positive and healthy controls included higher rates of GDM (gestational diabetes), low lymphocyte counts (white blood cell count) which were significantly lower, postpartum hemorrhage (bleeding during birth), and neonatal respiratory complications. Our findings support the importance of vaccinating all pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy.

The study looked at births at the hospital between 26 March and 30 September 2020. A total of 93 per cent of women admitted to the labour ward during this period were negative for COVID-19. Of the COVID-19-positive patients, 67 per cent were asymptomatic. On average the increase risk of incidence of adverse outcomes was 13.8 per cent higher for asymptomatic covid patients and 19.6 per cent higher for those symptomatic.

More data is now needed to better delineate the differences between pregnancy outcomes seen in certain populations, potentially related to different viral characteristics (subtypes, viral load), patient epigenetics, or other factors. Additionally, the effects of maternal infection on the fetus both in terms of symptomatic maternal illness and vertical viral transmission remain to be further investigated, the authors stated.

Limitations of this study include it being retrospective; whilst another is that the sample includes a relatively healthy population admitted to just a single community hospital. “Therefore,” the authors stated their findings, “may not be generalizable to all populations.”

Also Read: Covid Vaccine Boosters Not “Appropriate” At This Stage: Lancet Study

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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