Coronavirus | Government hospitals in Chennai see steady flow of pregnant women with COVID-19

A view of heritage building Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Government Hospital for Women and Children at Egmore in Chennai.

A view of heritage building Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Government Hospital for Women and Children at Egmore in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

Three hospitals record 523 patients; IOG takes up study on mother-to-child transmission of SARS CoV-2

Government hospitals in Chennai are witnessing a steady flow of pregnant women who test positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Two of the major government maternity hospitals — the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (IOG) and the Government Hospital for Women and Children, Egmore, and Kasturba Gandhi Hospital (KGH) for Women and Children, Triplicane — have so far recorded 523 COVID-19 positive pregnant women.

After treating COVID-19 pregnant women since April-end, IOG has taken up a study to check on mother-to-child transmission of SARS CoV-2, officials said.

While details of patients at north Chennai’s largest maternity centre — Government RSRM Lying-in Hospital, Royapuram — could not be obtained, doctors of both IOG and KGH said there remains a constant flow of COVID-19 positive pregnant women. Their cumulative number was 294 at IOG and 229 at KGH. Doctors said of these, 252 women in IOG and 187 in KGH had been discharged.

“Most of the women at IOG were from Pulianthope while we also had patients from Saidapet. At least 20% of our patients had co-morbidity conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and anaemia, as well as high-risk pregnancies such as cases of in vitro fertilisation but all have recovered. We have had no maternal deaths due to COVID-19, and have earmarked separate wards with 100 beds and separate teams of doctors, nurses and hospital workers for COVID-19 patients,” a senior doctor said.

IOG that received its first COVID-19 positive pregnant woman on April 28, has 38 women in admission now.

Study taken up

Doctors said out of 100 deliveries, at least 10 babies tested positive for COVID-19 but remained asymptomatic. “We have had no zero-day transmission in newborns. In most cases, the baby tested positive on the second or third day. So we are now studying the transmission, including by screening the cord blood,” an official said.

Doctors said they advised mothers to wear masks during breastfeeding and stay in isolation for 14 days at home. “At IOG, we are now using non-removable sutures that are absorbed so that the women need not go out to hospitals to check the sutures. They can visit the nearest Primary Health Centre for check up after two weeks,” the doctor said.

KGH has 37 active cases, and a majority of the patients were from Adyar, Teynampet, Perungudi and Sholinganallur.

Doctors said that in most cases, pregnant women were reluctant to wear masks as it made breathing difficult. “As a result, they face a chance of infection from asymptomatic family members,” another doctor added.

The Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital has 30 COVID-19 positive pregnant women.

“As per the guidelines, symptomatic women should be tested. Universal precautions should be taken during deliveries and caesarean sections. We do screen women who are nearing full term and admit them to COVID-19 ward if they test positive,” an official said.

Though many remained asymptomatic, doctors advised that pregnant women should seek medical help in case of fever and cough.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 2:53:41 PM |

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