Saskatoon — Pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 were more likely to have emergency deliveries and birth complications than expectant mothers with asymptomatic COVID-19, according to a new US study.

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Conclusions, which were presented on Anesthesiology 2021 Annual Meeting On Saturday, it was also found that expectant mothers with symptomatic COVID-19 were also more likely to give birth to babies who required oxygen support and admission to neonatal intensive care units.

“COVID-19 has serious systemic effects on the body, especially on symptomatic patients. It is possible that these effects are amplified in pregnant mothers who have increased fetal and maternal oxygen demand,” said Christine Lane, a medical student and lead author of the study. said in a press release.


Her team found that nearly six in 10 symptomatic mothers delivered in emergency situations, compared with 46.5 percent of asymptomatic mothers.

People with symptomatic COVID-19 were also more likely to have emergency complications, such as having too little amniotic fluid, slowing or stopping the progress of labor, or decreased fetal movement.

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For the study, researchers looked at 101 pregnant women between the ages of 16 and 45 who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted for delivery from March to September 2020. About a third of the women had symptomatic COVID-19.

Of the 31 pregnant mothers with symptoms of COVID-19, nearly four in 10 had a fever or cough; 26 percent had shortness of breath; 16 percent of women complain of muscle aches or chills.

Pregnant women with COVID-19 more likely to need a C-section

Children born to symptomatic mothers were slightly more likely to require respiratory support and were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (43.8 percent compared to 36.2%).

The team also found that caesarean deliveries in both symptomatic women (64.5 percent) and asymptomatic-but-COVID-19-positive women (62 percent) were significantly more frequent in the US than in the general population (31.7 percent).

“lack of oxygen” [in mothers] may contribute to the increase in caesarean deliveries, as well as the possibility that physicians caring for symptomatic patients are wary of the unpredictable nature of the virus, so they recommend caesarean delivery for moderate to high-risk deliveries. said.

“We wanted to provide information about an institution’s experience with the condition of the baby after birth as well as how the virus may affect labor and delivery,” he said.

“Given the emerging nature of COVID-19, it is important for hospitals to share their experiences with how patients with COVID-19 are treated and how this affects patient outcomes.”