Monday, June 28, 2021

Covid’s second wave proves lethal for pregnant women

At SVP Hospital in Ahmedabad – one of the major Covid-19 hospitals of the city – 148 pregnant women with Covid-19 infection were admitted during the second wave. Out of the total, 19 or 13% of the patients succumbed to the infection. To put the figure in perspective, the first wave had a mortality rate of 0.3% as only one out of 359 admitted pregnant women lost life in the pandemic.The second wave in Gujarat during April-May in general recorded 10 times deaths compared to the first wave – against 396 deaths from November 15 to December 15 last year, this year April 15 to May 15 recorded 4,044 deaths. But in 2020, the experts had witnessed deaths involving pregnant women few and far – the trend which got reversed across Gujarat.

Dr Sushma Shah, head of gynaecology department at SVP Hospital, said that the second wave was marked by more infectivity and greater lung complications. “It was brutal for pregnant women. Most deceased mothers-to-be suffered from irreversible lung damage, sepsis, myocarditis and kidney complications,” she said.

The trend was also witnessed in other cities – at New Civil Hospital and SMIMER in Surat, the fatality rate of pregnant women with Covid-19 positivity was 2.8% (nine deaths out of 312 cases), which rose sharply to 23% as 19 out of 84 women succumbed to the pandemic.

Speedy inoculation can reduce mortality

The death rate was higher in the second wave as most patients were hospitalized when severity was high and needed oxygen and ventilator support,” said Dr Ashwin Vachhani, head of the obstetrics and gynaecology department at SMIMER Hospital.

Dr Sarla Bhatia of New Civil Hospital cited the new Covid variant and late hospitalization as primary reasons.

At SSG Hospital in Vadodara, two out of 124 pregnant women had succumbed to Covid-19 in the first wave, giving a mortality rate of 0.8% which rose to 6% with death of 11 out of 189 expecting mothers this year.

“Most women battled Covid-induced pneumonia which escalated to respiratory failure, the main cause of death,” said Dr Ashish Gokhale, head of gynaecology and obstetrics department at the SSG Hospital.

Dr Gokhale added that although vaccination is not recommended for pregnant women, women who are planning for conception or taking infertility treatment should go for vaccines without hesitation.

Dr Jignesh Deliwala, president of Ahmedabad Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society, said that the union health department has recently given green signal for vaccination of pregnant women. “Gynaecologists are also encouraging women who wish to get pregnant to get vaccinated beforehand to give themselves some protection.”

Source: ETHealthWorld

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