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Covid Placentitis: Statement from the RCPI Faculty of Pathology and the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Covid Placentitis: Statement from the RCPI Faculty of Pathology and the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

 

The Faculty of Pathology and Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists can confirm there have been 6 cases of stillbirth and one case of second trimester miscarriage caused by SARS-CoV2 placentitis since January 2021 in Ireland.

Current clinical advice is for pregnant women to notify their treating hospital if they test positive for COVID-19, so as to ensure appropriate follow up, and to present early if there are concerns regarding reduced fetal movements.  Pregnant women should continue all measures to avoid contracting COVID-19 infection.

Pregnant women remain eligible for vaccination if in a priority group and should be supported in making an informed decision regarding whether to accept or not.  Vaccination of pregnant women can occur between 14 and 36 weeks.

The 6 cases are on a background of a total of 11 cases of SARS-CoV2 placentitis identified in Ireland since the start of the pandemic. Results to date, from the baby’s deaths, indicate a link with the B.1.1.7 variant of concern which may explain why this finding was not a significant feature of the 1st and 2nd waves in 2020.  It may also partially explain why it is not a clear feature of COVID-19 infection in the international literature to date, which largely dates from COVID-19 cases seen in 2020. This condition appears to occur a relatively short time after contracting COVID-19 infection, ranging up to 21 days from experiencing symptoms. Maternal COVID-19 symptoms varied from none to moderate. Gestations involved ranged from 20- 36 weeks.

Chapter 5A of the HSE Immunisation Guidelines includes a section on COVID-19 Vaccines and pregnant women. You can view the guidelines here