Six stillbirths linked to Covid-19 in Irish hospitals 1 month ago

Six stillbirths linked to Covid-19 in Irish hospitals

NPHET are considering issuing additional advice to pregnant women.

Six stillbirths in Ireland have been linked to Covid-19 related infections.

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According to new figures as reported by the Irish Times, seven cases of coronavirus-related placentitis have been reported in the country. Six were stillbirths and one involved a baby being born safely after emergency intervention.

Four stillbirths as a result of placentitis were reported last month by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

At the time, Dr Ronan Glynn encouraged pregnant women to bring any concerns to their GP. Now, the team are considering providing additional advice to pregnant women concerning the virus and the risk of placentitis.

Professor Peter McKenna, director of the HSE national women and infants programme, said that officials are now "more certain" of the link between Covid-19 and the disease and that the increased number of cases  “puts a different slant on things."

“This shows it is more important than ever that women avoid contracting Covid when they are expecting," he said.

Covid Placentitis is a rare Coronavirus infection of the placenta in pregnant women with Covid-19. There has been a low number of cases reported with the experience of the disease described as "mixed," with some women showing severe symptoms and others none at all.

This increase in placentitus comes after a study showed there has been more stillbirths globally and deaths of pregnant women during the pandemic compared to previous years.

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A recent study published in the Lancet Global Health journal, which analysed data from 17 countries and 40 studies, also found that there was an increase in stillbirths and other pregnancy complications over the past year.

The research found that disruptions to healthcare systems as well as patients' fears or reluctance around attending clinics may have lead to the avoidable deaths of mothers and babies.

Here in Ireland, there has been a significant increase in home births, likely due to the tight restrictions currently in place in maternity hospitals.