Hadassah: 32-year-old mother and fetus die from COVID-19

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A 32-year-old woman and her fetus died from COVID-19 late Saturday night after receiving treatment at Hadassah University Medical Center, the hospital reported on Sunday morning.

The woman entered the hospital last Tuesday when she began to experience respiratory distress. Her condition rapidly deteriorated until she suffered from multisystem organ failure.

A multidisciplinary medical team made efforts to treat her, the hospital said, including carrying out prolonged resuscitation efforts. The 30-week-old fetus was delivered by emergency Caesarean section in an attempt to save it.

Although the mother was hooked up to an ECMO machine and the heroic labor of the staff, they both ultimately died.

Hadassah said its staff were very moved by the loss.

“The entire Hadassah team shares the family’s deep sorrow,” read a statement.

Last week, a 25-week-old fetus died at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital after contracting COVID-19 from its mother. The fetus had contracted the virus through what is called vertical transmission, which means that it was actually transmitted from mother to baby via the placenta.

It was the first fetus to die in this way in Israel.

According to Professor Arnon Wiznitzer, obstetrician and gynecologist at Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, to date, in only 1% to 3% of cases worldwide, a pregnant mother has transmitted the virus directly to her baby.

The country opened vaccination to pregnant women last month after it became clear that this third wave of coronavirus is hitting young people. Dozens of pregnant women have been hospitalized in recent months and several babies have been born premature as their mothers struggle to survive in intensive care units.

In previous waves, pregnant women were not considered to be at high risk for severe cases of coronavirus.

Health experts believe the rise in the number of young people catching coronavirus is linked to the UK mutation. Genetic sequencing of several handfuls of pregnant women nationwide revealed they were infected with the variant.

Earlier this month, as Haemek Medical Center had three critically pregnant women in hospital at the same time, the head of its labor and delivery department, Dr Raed Salim, called the women to be vaccinated.

“I recommend pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant to be vaccinated against the coronavirus soon,” he warned.


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