Covid-19: number of infected and unvaccinated pregnant women is increasing in maternity hospitals

Covid-19: number of infected and unvaccinated pregnant women is increasing in maternity hospitals
Covid-19: number of infected and unvaccinated pregnant women is increasing in maternity hospitals

Alexandre Valentim Lourenço, director of the Gynecology Service of the University Hospital Center of Lisbon North (CHULN), alerts this Friday to the increase in the number of pregnant women infected with covid-19 without vaccination and to the impact on services, appealing to vaccination.

Speaking to Lusa agency, Alexandre Valentim Lourenço said that currently all the “main maternity hospitals in Lisbon have had more pregnant covids” and that the number exceeds that recorded in May, June or even last year.

“What we had in May and last year was two, three pregnant and now we have four, five, six pregnant. We have more pregnant women with present infection because they are young populations, who escaped vaccination, who did not do the vaccination and are more subject to this wave of contagion”, he warns.

According to the obstetrician, this increase has been noted in the last two weeks, with a record of several births with women infected with covid-19, something that was not seen “for a long time”.

“Most of these women have mild illness in labor or have no disease or are asymptomatic. As we track everyone who goes into labor, it has been more frequent for us to detect,” he explains.

He adds that this situation has been detected at the Alfredo da Costa Maternity Hospital and at the Hospital de Santa Maria maternity hospital, for example, following the trend of an increase in the number of infections that has been registered in the community.

“Within today [sexta-feira] one is in Santa Maria in labor who is not vaccinated, last Monday there were four and they [como] are not vaccinated, contract the disease more easily and require much more care to not contaminate even the doctors and nurses who attend the birth”, he points out, stressing that childbirth is a “very contagious” moment, due to the type of breathing and close contact .

On the other hand, it states that there are also several pregnant women, who are not in labor, infected with covid-19 and with mild symptoms, admitted to various hospital wards.

Alexandre Valentim Lourenço says that the services have noticed that “the majority of women opted for no vaccination, despite being recommended” and that there are fewer pregnant women with the vaccination schedule, which is creating “a problem in hospitals” .

“This problem is serious, first because it is a problem for the women themselves, second because it entails the existence of the hospital, at a time when there are few resources, double circuits for pregnant women and all hospitals have isolation beds and teams prepared for these pregnant women and that require special attention at a time when there are few resources for normal pregnancies”, he explains.

According to the doctor, this has caused “several constraints” and an “overload of work”, at an already complex time of year, since at Christmas and at the end of the year the teams are reduced, it is necessary to double circuits and there is a lot more work.

“Those who are normally hospitalized and who need more care and that require us to double circuit, many of them are not vaccinated”, he stresses.

The director of the CHULN Gynecology Service therefore calls on pregnant women to stick to the vaccination schedule, ensuring that the vaccine “is very safe” for both the woman and the baby.

“The fact that they are pregnant does not prevent, on the contrary, he recommends that they get the vaccine because even patients who are vaccinated when they have the disease, it is faster to pass and they have much less symptoms and they should be careful, given that the vaccine is within your reach”, he defends.

Alexandre Valentim Lourenço also points out that the option of not vaccinating can have serious consequences for women.

“It is necessary to realize that a pregnant woman, especially at the end of time, with pneumonia has much more respiratory difficulties and this conditions labor and speeds up labor and can cause embarrassment to the pregnant woman and that is why it is very important that they become vaccinate”, alerts.

She adds that this makes the control of childbirth more difficult, forcing you to often have to interrupt the pregnancy or go through a cesarean in prematurity.

In the doctor’s opinion, this phenomenon can be explained by the fact that “most pregnant women do not have adequate information” and “many of the pregnancies [não serem] followed by obstetricians”, stressing that the recommendation for vaccination “did not circulate well in family doctors, in birth care centers”.

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