Effects of coronavirus on pregnant women and babies

in News · 22-04-2020 14:58:00 · 0 Comments

Researchers from the Public Health Institute of the University of Porto (ISPUP) will determine the “adverse effects” of covid-19 in pregnant women and newborns in at least 23 obstetrics and neonatology units public hospitals in the country.

"Knowledge about infection for pregnant women and newborns is very limited and scarce, so at this stage, whether in Portugal or internationally, it is essential to produce scientific evidence", said on 22 April, in statements to Lusa, Carina Rodrigues, project coordinator.

The project, developed under the funding line of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) 'RESEARCH 4 COVID-19', will, starting 1 May, “determine the adverse effects of covid-19 on pregnant women and in the newborn”, as well as “identifying the practices adopted by the obstetrics and neonatology units during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium”.

So far, 23 hospital units, in the areas belonging to and influenced by the Northern Regional Health Administration (ARS-N) and Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, have already expressed interest in participating in the project and collaborating with the team of researchers.

"Each hospital will appoint a responsible doctor who will be what we call the local investigator, is part of the team, but they are clinicians who are responsible and who recruit pregnant women and invite them to participate", explained the researcher.

According to Carina Rodrigues, the study will be conducted both in pregnant women infected with the new coronavirus in follow-up, and in pregnant women infected at the time of delivery, with the information collected being mostly clinical.

“We are going to collect information about pregnancy, obstetric history and covid infection. Our proposal for pregnant women who are in labour and infected is to also collect biological samples from the placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid and breast milk. This will be done by midwifery clinicians”, said Carina Rodrigues

She added that, “one month after delivery, the ISPUP research team will call the pregnant women and do a telephone questionnaire and an assessment of her and the newborn's physical and mental health again”.

To Lusa, Carina Rodrigues said that the objective of the team, composed of three more researchers, is to produce a monthly report and a final report to the Ministry of Health, Directorate-General for Health (DGS) and hospital units with “a proposal for action”.


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