The chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said that 20 pregnant and postpartum women have been admitted to ICU with Covid-19 since June.
Dr. Cliona Murphy further said that three women had been transferred from maternity hospitals in Dublin to general hospitals and ICU care this weekend alone.
“What we have seen, particularly in the last few weeks, is that they can deteriorate pretty quickly. Instead of being able to manage on some oxygen, often we are in a position of where the woman is struggling to breathe and sometimes, that can be a problem with the baby,” Murphy said.
She continued to say that mothers who are moved to ICU can be there for up to five weeks.
In some cases, the women may need ECMO – a specialised life support unit that is more intense than a regular ventilator.
“Generally, we might have one person a year who needs ECMO, and there has been quite a handful of people who have needed ECMO this year, and that is extraordinary for obstetrics,” Murphy continued.
She said that pregnant women are not more likely to get Covid-19, but are more likely to suffer symptoms.
“If they end up coming in to hospital because of symptoms, they have a 10% risk of ICU admission, which is quite something,” she said.
IMAGE – “Two nurses transporting a bed down a hospital corridor” is licensed under CC BY 4.0