COVID-19 transmissibility during labor and vaginal delivery [Letter]
Postpartum Readmissions for Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Background/UNASSIGNED:Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are one of the most common causes of readmission postpartum. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, early hospital discharge was encouraged for patients who were medically stable as hospitalization rates among COVID-infected patients steadily increased in 2020. The impact of an early discharge policy on postpartum readmission rates among patients with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy is unknown. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To compare the postpartum readmission rates of patients with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy before and after implementation of an early discharge policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Study Design/UNASSIGNED:This is a quality improvement, retrospective cohort study of postpartum patients with antenatal hypertensive disorders in pregnancy who delivered and were readmitted due to hypertensive disorders in pregnancy at NYU Langone Health on 3/1/2019-2/29/2020 (control cohort) to 4/1/2020-3/31/2021 (COVID cohort). During the pandemic, our institution introduced an early discharge policy for all postpartum patients to be discharged no later than 2 days postpartum during the delivery admission if deemed medically appropriate. The reduction of postpartum length of stay was accompanied by the continuation of patient education, home blood pressure monitoring, and outpatient follow-up. The primary outcome was the comparison of the postpartum hypertensive disorders in pregnancy readmission rates. Data were analyzed using Fisher's Exact test, chi-square test, and Wilcoxon rank-sum test with significance defined as p<0.05. Results/UNASSIGNED:There was no statistical difference in readmission rates for postpartum hypertensive disorders in pregnancy before versus after implementation of an early discharge policy (1.08% for control cohort vs 0.59% for COVID cohort). Demographics in each group were similar, as were median times to readmission (5.0 days, IQR 4.0-6.0 days vs 6.0 days, IQR 5.0-6.0 days, p=0.13) and median readmission lengths of stay (3.0 days, IQR 2.0-4.0 days vs 3.0 days, IQR 2.0-4.0 days, p=0.45). There was one ICU readmission in the COVID cohort and none in the control cohort (p=0.35). There were no severe maternal morbidities or maternal deaths. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:These findings suggest policies reducing postpartum length of stay, which includes patients with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, can be implemented without impacting the hospital readmission rate for patients with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. Continuation of patient education and outpatient surveillance during the pandemic was instrumental in the outpatient postpartum management of the study cohort. Further investigation into best practices to support early discharges is warranted.
The association of inflammatory markers in pregnant women with COVID-19 disease severity [Meeting Abstract]
Adjustment of the spontaneous abortion rate following COVID-19 vaccination [Letter]
Association of SARS-CoV-2 placental histopathology findings with maternal-fetal comorbidities and severity of COVID-19 hypoxia
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:SARS-CoV-2 is known to impact multiple organ systems, with growing data to suggest the potential for placental infection and resultant pathology. Understanding how maternal COVID-19 disease can affect placental histopathology has been limited by small study cohorts with mild disease, review by multiple pathologists, and potential confounding by maternal-fetal comorbidities that can also influence placental findings. This study aims to identify pathologic placental findings associated with COVID-19 disease and severity, as well as to distinguish them from changes related to coexisting maternal-fetal comorbidities. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:â€‰<â€‰0.05 considered significant. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:â€‰=â€‰0.01). CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:In pregnancies complicated by COVID-19 disease, there was a high prevalence of placental histopathologic changes identified, particularly features of maternal vascular malperfusion, which could not be attributed solely to the presence of maternal-fetal comorbidities. The significantly increased prevalence of villous trophoblast necrosis in women needing respiratory support suggests a connection to the severity of COVID-19 illness.
Predictors of severe and critical disease in pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread widely in the US and worldwide. Pregnant women are more likely to develop severe or critical illness than their non-pregnant counterparts. Known risk factors for severe and critical disease outside of pregnancy, such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity have not been well-studied in pregnancy. We aimed to determine which clinical and pregnancy-related factors were associated with severe and critical COVID illness in pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN/UNASSIGNED:â€‰<â€‰.05. Multivariable logistic regression was performed including variables that were significantly different between groups. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:< .01). After adjustment, history of smoking remained significantly predictive of severe/critical disease [aOR 3.84 (95% CI, 1.25-11.82)]. CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:Pregnant women with a history of smoking, asthma, or other respiratory condition, and COVID-19 diagnosis in the second trimester of pregnancy were more likely to develop severe/critical disease. These findings may be useful in counseling women on their individual risk of developing the severe or critical disease in pregnancy and may help determine which women are good candidates for vaccination during pregnancy.
COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy: early experience from a single institution [Letter]
OBJECTIVE:Vaccination presents an important strategy to mitigate illness in this population. However, there is a paucity of data on vaccination safety and pregnancy outcomes because pregnant women were excluded from the initial phase III clinical trials. Our objective was to describe the maternal, neonatal, and obstetrical outcomes of women who received a messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccination while pregnant during the first 4 months of vaccine availability. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:This was an institutional review board-approved descriptive study of pregnant women at New York University Langone Health who received at least 1 dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccination approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) from the time of the FDA Emergency Use Authorization to April 22, 2021. Eligible women were identified via search of the electronic medical record (EMR) system. Vaccine administration was ascertained via immunization records from the New York State Department of Health. Women were excluded if they were vaccinated before conception or during the postpartum period. Charts were reviewed for maternal demographics and pregnancy outcomes. Descriptive analyses were performed using the R software version 4.0.2 (The R Foundation, Boston, MA). RESULTS:We identified 424 pregnant women who received an mRNA vaccination. Of those, 348 (82.1%) received both doses and 76 (17.9%) received only 1 dose. The maternal characteristics and vaccination information are shown in Table 1. Of the included women, 4.9% had a history of a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis before vaccination. After vaccination, no patient in our cohort was diagnosed with COVID-19. In terms of the pregnancy outcomes, 9 women had spontaneous abortions, 3 terminated their pregnancies, and 327 have ongoing pregnancies. Of the women included, 85 delivered liveborn infants. There were no stillbirths in our population. Of the 9 spontaneous abortions, 8 occurred during the first trimester at a range of 6 to 13 weeks' gestation. There was 1 second trimester loss. The rate of spontaneous abortion among women vaccinated in the first trimester was 6.5%. The 327 women with ongoing pregnancies have been followed for a median of 4.6 weeks (range, 0-17 weeks) following their most recent dose. A total of 113 (34.6%) women, initiated vaccination during the first trimester, 178 (54.4%) initiated vaccination during the second trimester, and 36 (11.0%) during the third trimester. Following the vaccination, 2 fetuses (0.6%) developed intrauterine growth restriction, whereas 5 (1.5%) were diagnosed with anomalies. Outcomes for the 85 women who delivered are shown in Table 2. Of the women who delivered, 18.8% were diagnosed with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. The rate of preterm birth was 5.9%. One preterm delivery was medically indicated, whereas the remaining 3 were spontaneous. A total of 15.3% of neonates required admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Of the NICU admissions, 61.5% were because of hypoglycemia or an evaluation for sepsis. Other reasons for admission included prematurity, hypothermia, and transient tachypnea of the newborn. Of all the neonates, 12.2% were small for gestational age (SGA) per the World Health Organization standards. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Our rate of pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders is higher than our baseline institutional rate of 9.5%, however, this may be because of the underlying characteristics of our study population or skewing of our small sample size. Our 12.2% rate of SGA neonates is near the expected value based on the definition that 10% of neonates will be SGA at birth. The NICU admission rate is at par with our institutional rate of 12%. To date, most women in this series have had uncomplicated pregnancies and have delivered at-term. Strengths of this study include using the EMR system to identify subjects and gather data. We did not rely on self-enrollment and self-report, thereby reducing selection and recall bias. By performing manual chart reviews, we obtained detailed and reliable information about individual patients. One limitation of this study is the lack of a matched control group consisting of unvaccinated pregnant women and therefore direct conclusions could not be drawn about the relative risks of complications. In addition, our cohort is small and may not be generalizable. Finally, many women included are healthcare workers who had early access to vaccinations. As more pregnant women become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccinations, there is an urgent need to report on the maternal, neonatal, and obstetrical outcomes of COVID-19 vaccinations during pregnancy. The results of this study can be used to counsel and reassure pregnant patients facing this decision.
Pregnant women with severe or critical COVID-19 have increased composite morbidity compared to non-pregnant matched controls
BACKGROUND:In March 2020, as community spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) became increasingly prevalent, pregnant women appeared to be equally susceptible to developing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). While the disease course usually appears mild, severe and critical COVID-19 appears to lead to significant morbidity including ICU admission with prolonged hospital stay, intubation, mechanical ventilation and even death. Although there are recent reports regarding the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy, information regarding the severity of COVID-19 in pregnant versus non-pregnant women remains unknown. OBJECTIVE:We aim to describe the outcomes of severe and critical COVID-19 infection in pregnant versus non-pregnant reproductive aged women. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:This is a multi-center retrospective case-control study of women with laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19 in four academic medical centers in NYC and one in Philadelphia between March 12 and May 5, 2020. The cases consist of pregnant women admitted specifically for severe or critical COVID-19 and not for obstetric indication. The controls consist of reproductive aged, non-pregnant women admitted for severe or critical COVID-19. The primary outcome is a composite morbidity including: death, need for intubation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), non-invasive positive pressure ventilation or need for high flow nasal cannula oxygen supplementation. Secondary outcomes include ICU admission, length of stay, need for discharge to long term acute care facility and discharge with home oxygen requirement. RESULTS:Thirty-eight pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed infection were admitted to five institutions specifically for COVID-19, 29 (76.3%) meeting criteria for severe disease and 9 (23.7%) meeting criteria for critical disease. The mean age and BMI were significantly higher in the non-pregnant control group. The non-pregnant cohort was also noted to have increased frequency of pre-existing medical comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease. Pregnant women were more likely to experience the primary outcome when compared to the non-pregnant control group (34.2% vs. 14.9%, p=0.03, adjusted OR 4.6 [95% CI 1.2-18.2]). Pregnant patients experienced higher rates of ICU admission (39.5% vs. 17.0%, p<0.01, adjusted OR 5.2 [95% CI 1.5-17.5]). Among pregnant women that underwent delivery, 72.7% occurred via cesarean delivery and mean gestational age at delivery was 33.8 Â±5.5 weeks in patients with severe disease and 35 Â±3.5 weeks in patients with critical COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS:Pregnant women with severe and/or critical COVID-19 are at increased risk for certain morbidities when compared to non-pregnant controls. Despite the higher comorbidities of diabetes and hypertension in the non-pregnant controls, the pregnant cases were at increased risk for composite morbidity, intubation, mechanical ventilation and ICU admission. These findings suggest that pregnancy may be associated with a worse outcome in women with severe and critical COVID-19. Our study suggests that similar to other viral infections such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, pregnant women may be at risk for greater morbidity and disease severity.
Differential Uptake of Telehealth for Prenatal Care in a Large New York City Academic Obstetrical Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in New York City, telehealth was rapidly implemented for obstetric patients. Though telehealth for prenatal care is safe and effective, significant concerns exist regarding equity in access among low-income populations. We performed a retrospective cohort study evaluating utilization of telehealth for prenatal care in a large academic practice in New York City, comparing women with public and private insurance. We found that patients with public insurance were less likely to have at least one telehealth visit than women with private insurance (60.9 vs. 87.3%, pâ€‰<â€‰0.001). After stratifying by borough, this difference remained significant in Brooklyn, one of the boroughs hardest hit by the pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to spread around the country, obstetric providers must work to ensure that all patients, particularly those with public insurance, have equal access to telehealth. KEY POINTS: Â· Telehealth for prenatal care is frequently utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic.. Â· Significant concerns exist regarding equity in access among lower-income populations.. Â· Women with public insurance in New York City were less likely to access telehealth for prenatal care..
Intrauterine vertical transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2: The evidence is evolving