More symptomatic cases seen among expectant mothers in second wave
Over 400 babies have been delivered of COVID-positive mothers at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) here ever since SARS-CoV-2 began to do the rounds.
Doctors say more symptomatic cases are seen among expectant mothers during the second wave. Dr. Sobha Pillai, gynaecologist at the MCH, said the number of cases among pregnant women was similar to the numbers seen in the months of September and October last year, when there was a surge in COVID cases. But most of them were asymptomatic during the first wave, she said. “This time, we have had more patients in the ICU. There are more cases of COVID pneumonia, requiring non-invasive ventilation. At the hospital, there was one maternal death in the first wave, and one more in the second wave,” she added.
Some patients have taken as long as three weeks in the ICU to recover. A pulmonologist and cardiologist are usually involved in the treatment, since some young mothers have also developed myocarditis attributed to COVID, Dr. Pillai said.
According to data with the District Reproductive and Child Health Officer’s team, 5,133 expectant mothers have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Ernakulam district.
“If the patient is worsening or her oxygen requirement is increasing, we deliver the baby so that the mother can be better looked after, and drugs can be administered without any worry of what it might do to the pregnancy. This has worked out to the benefit of the patient, but pre-term babies have had to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit. The mother’s condition usually improves once the pregnancy is taken care of,” Dr. Pillai said. CT scans are used only in a highly restricted manner for pregnant women, keeping radiation exposure in mind.
Of the total number of ‘COVID deliveries’, around 55% have been normal ones, and the rest were caesarean sections, according to Dr. Ganesh Mohan, Resident Medical Officer at the MCH.
Some babies have tested positive for the virus, but they have not had any serious issues, Dr. Pillai said.
Women in the later stages of pregnancy or with serious COVID symptoms are usually referred to the MCH, a tertiary care facility for COVID patients in the district.
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