Covid can lead to stillbirth in rare cases: Rotterdam researchers
In rare cases, a coronavirus infection in pregnant women can threaten the life of their unborn child, gynecologist Sam Schoenmakers of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam said to the Volkskrant. Since July this year, he and his fellow researchers linked at least 13 stillbirths in the Randstad to placenta damaged by the coronavirus.
Early this year, Schoenmakers and his colleagues examined the placentas of 36 women who contracted the coronavirus during the first wave. They found five placentals full of inflammatory cells and badly damaged. This disrupted the supply of nutrients and oxygen from mother to child. The coronavirus was found in four of the five placentas.
They then checked the placentas of women who had unexplained and unexpected stillbirths in the Randstad. Since July this year, the researchers linked all 13 examined stillbirths to corona-damaged placentas. Schoenmakers called this an incredible amount. "There is no other infectious disease that has caused so much death in unborn babies in such a short period in our region," he said to the newspaper.
According to Schoenmakers, the women involved only had minor coronavirus symptoms, like a runny nose. Some didn't even know they had Covid-19, only finding out after an antibody test.
Schoenmakers stressed that more research is needed. The Dutch association for obstetrics and gynecology NVOG said in response that it advises all pregnant women to get vaccinated against Covid-19.