Other States

Compulsory respiratory tests for pregnant women

Aligarh Muslim University sets standard operating procedures to deal with COVID-19 and pregnancy

One of the many mysteries that surround COVID-19 is its impact on pregnant women and vertical transfer to the newly born. Recently, a woman in Ghaziabad was found positive after giving birth to a baby boy.

As pregnant women grope in the dark, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, has made periodic evaluation of their respiratory status compulsory. For their safety and for lessening their pent-up anxiety, it has established a new labour room and operation theatre for the purpose.

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, headed by Professor Tamkin Khan, has released the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines on the recommendations of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the World Health Organisation Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 infection from mother to baby.

“These SOPs and guidelines have been duly adopted at JNMC keeping in mind the infrastructure and resources available supported by evidence-based medicine,” said Prof. Tamkin.

She said that AMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor has also allowed the use of the Regional Resource Training Centre (RRTC) as a COVID-19 isolation unit and a new fully functional labour room and an OT complex has been established in less than a week.

“In line with the SOPs, the interns and counsellors at the COVID-19 screening desk will screen the patients to get information about their travel history, and whether they belong to the hotspot areas,” said Prof. Tamkin, adding that the testing procedures for pregnant women are same as for others.

She further said that both suspected COVID-19 positive pregnant women and COVID-19 positive women would be made to deliver the babies in the cubicles they are admitted in order to avoid cross infections.

For Caesarean sections, these women will be shifted to seaparate maternity OTs.

Prof. Tamkin added that there would be periodic evaluations of the respiratory status of pregnant women to search for symptoms of breathing difficulties and regional anaesthesia instead of general anaesthesia will be given to COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 possible pregnant women.

Risk factor

She pointed out that the evidence so far, limited to a small number of cases, seems to suggest that pregnant women are not at a higher risk of developing complications from the virus.

“However, we do not yet know what long-term impact, if any, COVID-19 could have on their babies, if they catch the virus during pregnancy,” said Prof. Tamkin.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 4:03:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/compulsory-respiratory-tests-for-pregnant-women/article31391801.ece

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