ASA: Symptomatic COVID-19 Tied to More Emergency Deliveries

Pregnant COVID-19-positive women, regardless of symptoms, more likely to have a cesarean delivery
ASA: Symptomatic COVID-19 Tied to More Emergency Deliveries

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TUESDAY, Oct. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 have a higher percentage of emergency complications during delivery than asymptomatic COVID-19-positive women, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, held from Oct. 8 to 12 in San Diego.

Kristine S. Lane, from University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and colleagues examined preterm deliveries and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions in babies born to COVID-19-positive women. The analysis included 101 women (aged 16 to 45 years) admitted for delivery between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 31, 2020.

The researchers found that 31 of the COVID-19-positive women were symptomatic, with symptoms including fever (42 percent), cough (39 percent), shortness of breath (26 percent), muscle pain (16 percent), chills (16 percent), and chest pain (10 percent). Out of the 101 infants who were delivered, six were not tested for COVID-19 in the hospital and one neonate tested positive. This COVID-19-positive neonate was born with respiratory distress and required NICU admission and oxygen support. Both symptomatic and asymptomatic women had higher cesarean delivery rates than the general population (64.5, 62.0, and 31.7 percent, respectively). Symptomatic mothers had a higher percentage of emergent circumstances during delivery (58.1 percent versus 46.5 percent in asymptomatic mothers). Neonates with symptomatic mothers were more likely to need respiratory support (31.2 versus 29.0 percent) and to be admitted to the NICU (43.8 versus 36.2 percent).

"COVID-19 has severe systemic effects on the body, especially symptomatic patients," Lane said in a statement. "It is possible that these effects are amplified in pregnant mothers, who have increased fetal and maternal oxygen demands."

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