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Emergency Cesarean Section at 38 Weeks of Gestation with COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Case Report

Priya Patel, Sayali Kulkarni, Manrique Guerrero, Clive Persaud, Jamshed Zuberi, Benjamin Rebein

(St. George’s University School of Medicine, True Blue, Grenada)

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e926591

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.926591

BACKGROUND: Up to 47% of pregnant women with COVID-19 have preterm deliveries. A severe, symptomatic COVID-19 infection in close-to-term pregnancies can have a poor prognosis. Early identification of COVID-19 in pregnant women can prevent the progression of the disease. Currently, there is very little guidance on treating pregnant close-to-term women with COVID-19; this case report suggests changes to current management to maximize positive maternal and fetal outcomes.
CASE REPORT: A pregnant woman (37 weeks of gestation) presented to the Emergency Department with a chief complaint of fever with an associated cough for 2 days. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Emergency Department, and discharged in a stable condition. She returned 5 days later in preterm labor with severe respiratory distress. After an emergency cesarean section, she remained intubated in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit; she was persistently hypotensive and hypoxic despite maximal ventilator and medical treatment. She died after a cardiac arrest and unsuccessful resuscitation, 15 days after the delivery. We discuss the possible benefit of a planned C-section for close-to-term pregnancies prior to the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. The patient’s next of kin gave informed consent for this case report. Approval from the Institutional Review Board or Ethics Review Board was not required as this is a case report.
CONCLUSIONS: Currently, asymptomatic pregnant women are not tested for COVID-19 infection until hospitalization for delivery. It could be beneficial to have a protocol in place to screen asymptomatic pregnant women so they can be identified early and monitored, as COVID-19 symptoms can escalate quickly.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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