Pregnant women with coronavirus ‘more likely to end up in intensive care’

PREGNANT women with Covid are less likely to have symptoms but are at greater risk of needing intensive care, a review found.

Infected mums-to-be are also more likely to give birth prematurely and have newborns that require admission to a neonatal unit.

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Pregnant women with Covid are more likely to give birth prematurely [/caption]

At present there are 764 people receiving treatment in hospital for Covid-19 and the number of people receiving treatment in intensive care units remains low.

There are currently just sixty people who remain in intensive care as they battle Covid.

At the peak of the pandemic in April, nearly 20,000 people had been hospitalised with the virus.

The review found that the odds of severe disease are even higher in pregnant women who are older, overweight or have existing medical conditions.

Researchers analysed data on 11,432 pregnant or recently pregnant hospital patients with suspected or confirmed Covid.

Mothers with pre-existing comorbidities will need to be considered as a high risk group for Covid-19, along with those who are obese and of greater maternal age.

Prof Shakila ThangaratinamUniversity of Birmingham

These were compared with non-pregnant women of a similar age.

One in ten (10 per cent) of the pregnant or recently pregnant women had or is thought to have had the coronavirus.

They were 57 per cent less likely than non-pregnant women to report a fever and 52 per cent less likely to have aches.

But their odds of needing intensive care were 62 per cent higher and invasive ventilation 88 per cent higher.

Seventy three pregnant women died from any cause, the University of Birmingham and World Health Organisation experts report.



Babies born to Covid mums were three-times more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit, with 25 per cent requiring the specialist care.

But stillbirth and newborn death rates were low.

Study leader Prof Shakila Thangaratinam, from the University of Birmingham, said: “Healthcare professionals should be aware that pregnant and recently pregnant women with Covid-19 might manifest fewer symptoms than the general population.

“Emerging comparative data indicate the potential for an increase in the rates of admission to intensive care units and invasive ventilation in pregnant women compared with non-pregnant women.

“Mothers with pre-existing comorbidities will need to be considered as a high risk group for Covid-19, along with those who are obese and of greater maternal age.”

Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said pregnant women should avoid people with Covid symptoms.

But he added: “It is important that pregnant women are aware that the absolute risks to their health from coronavirus are low.”

Women are also at increased risk of needing intensive care if they contract flu and are advised to get the flu jab this winter.

The review, based on 77 previous studies, is published in The BMJ.


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