Low Rate of COVID-19 Found in Women Admitted for Childbirth at Cedars-Sinai

Research Suggests Hospitals Base Universal Testing of Pregnant Women on Local Patient Data
20-May-2020 5:10 PM EDT, by Cedars-Sinai contact patient services

Newswise — LOS ANGELES (May 20, 2020) - A study conducted by investigators at Cedars-Sinai suggests that universal testing of asymptomatic pregnant women in labor may not be necessary at every hospital. The investigation was prompted by reports from several large hospitals in New York City that nearly 14% of asymptomatic women admitted for childbirth had tested positive for COVID-19 during the early weeks of the pandemic. The women did not know they were infected.

In California, infections from the novel coronavirus and deaths from COVID-19 are strikingly lower than those in the state of New York. The reasons for the dramatic differences across regions of the country are not yet clear.

"That data from New York made us very concerned about the possibility of asymptomatic infections among our own pregnant patients. This would have implications for them, their babies, their households and for the health of our staff caring for them," said Mariam Naqvi, MD, maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai.

For one week in April, universal testing was employed to study the rates of asymptomatic infection in all admitted pregnant patients at Cedars-Sinai. Of the 82 patients tested, two had symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, but 80 women were asymptomatic. The findings of the study were published this week in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Universal Testing Experience on a Los Angeles Labor and Delivery Unit.

"We had no positive tests for COVID-19 in any of the 80 asymptomatic women in our labor and delivery unit, and all remained symptom-free throughout their hospitalizations. Of the two patients who had symptoms when admitted, one tested positive," said Naqvi, the study's principal investigator.

Sarah Kilpatrick, MD, PhD, chair of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, emphasizes how important it is to have accurate data about the number of asymptomatic pregnant women who come to the hospital to give birth and are not infected with the virus.

"If a high number of the asymptomatic women had tested positive for COVID-19, then we would need to continue testing all pregnant women. But as we suspected, the positive tests for asymptomatic women were in fact very low-zero-so we do not need to institute universal testing at this moment," said Kilpatrick, one of the study investigators. "These results are reassuring for our patients, their families and for healthcare providers."

Importantly, sporadic outbreaks or hot spots may develop quickly as the pandemic works its way through cities and states. Kilpatrick says it is critical that hospitals and communities remain vigilant in protecting pregnant women.

"We would restart universal testing immediately if we noted an increase in the number of positive tests among asymptomatic pregnant women in Los Angeles or around the state," Kilpatrick said. "To keep this positive rate low, we all must continue with what is working: wearing face masks, frequent hand-washing and maintaining physical distancing."


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Newswise:Video Embedded protocol-needed-to-monitor-covid-19-disease-course
Released: 3-Aug-2020 9:05 PM EDT
Protocol needed to monitor COVID-19 disease course
University of Washington School of Medicine and UW Medicine

Patients with underlying conditions such as asthma or other lung problems should be checked on regularly by pulmonologists or primary-care doctors for at least six months. Some will need to be monitored for one to three years, according to a new opinion piece posted online today in The Lancet-Respiratory Medicine.

Newswise: UM Cardiology Researchers Studying How COVID-19 Affects the Heart
Released: 3-Aug-2020 3:10 PM EDT
UM Cardiology Researchers Studying How COVID-19 Affects the Heart
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

COVID-19 is shown to impact the heart and, in some cases, have long-lasting cardiac effects. To discover the extent to which COVID-19 affects the heart, cardiologists and researchers with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have begun multiple studies.

Newswise: Tackling the Bioethics Challenges Raised by COVID-19
Released: 3-Aug-2020 3:05 PM EDT
Tackling the Bioethics Challenges Raised by COVID-19
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The diverse situations experienced by health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic often present serious ethical challenges. From the allocation of resources and triage protocols to health-care worker and patient rights and the management of clinical trials, new ethical questions have come to the forefront of today’s global public health emergency.

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Released: 3-Aug-2020 2:50 PM EDT
New species of fungus sticking out of beetles named after the COVID-19 quarantine
Pensoft Publishers

A major comprehensive study on Herpomycetales and Laboulbeniales, two orders of unique ectoparasitic fungi associated with insects and other arthropods (class Laboulbeniomycetes) in Belgium and the Netherlands was published in the open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal MycoKeys.

Released: 3-Aug-2020 1:30 PM EDT
Consumer Behavior Has Shifted Significantly During Pandemic, Survey Reveals
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an increase in telework and online commerce, and a significant decrease in the number of personal trips people are making. Understanding the effects of these rapid changes on the economy, supply chains, and the environment will be essential, as some of these behaviors will continue even after the pandemic has ended. Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently presented the results of two sets of surveys they conducted in an effort to quantify and understand these unprecedented shifts.

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Embargo will expire: 5-Aug-2020 12:05 AM EDT Released to reporters: 3-Aug-2020 12:25 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 5-Aug-2020 12:05 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

31-Jul-2020 4:05 PM EDT
The effects of COVID-19 on emergency visits, hospitalizations
Mayo Clinic

COVID-19 swept into the U.S., hospitals across the country have reported that their emergency departments are emptying out. In a new study published Monday, Aug. 3, in JAMA Internal Medicine, a team of researchers from multiple institutions provides insights into this phenomenon.

Newswise: Important Dementia Studies Continuing at UK Despite Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
Released: 3-Aug-2020 10:20 AM EDT
Important Dementia Studies Continuing at UK Despite Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
University of Kentucky

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many things to a screeching halt and continues to impact our daily lives. However, important research at the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) is continuing under extreme caution and deep dedication. A monumental study in the field of dementia research is set to get underway in the coming weeks at UK.

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