A new study shows instances of COVID-19 harming pregnant women and their fetuses.
There’s been a lot of talk about the risk of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women, but a new study found a tragic risk for moms-to-be who are not vaccinated. Although rare, the virus can increase the odds of stillbirths.
Published in the journal Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, the study found that COVID-19 can attack and destroy the placenta, resulting in asphyxiation and stillbirth.
“We have never seen this level of destruction from an infectious illness before. It rendered the placenta unfit to carry out its duties,” study lead Dr. David Schwartz told NBC News. “These fetuses and newborns died from asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen.”
While other viruses attack the fetus directly, COVID-19 appears to attack the placenta, thus limiting the oxygen that babies are meant to have. Researchers are calling this phenomenon “SARS-CoV-2 placentitis,” and it’s described by three factors: A build-up of the protein fibrin, the death of cells in the placenta’s protective layer, and unusual inflammation in the organ.
More and more studies continue to prove the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations. While this research was conducted on a small sample of women, it’s important for a variety of reasons. Pregnant women are more susceptible to infections due to their state, and thus should try their best to avoid the virus.
The study’s results are also important since they can help prevent more of these situations and instruct obstetricians to be on the lookout for this particular condition.