A Czech woman is thankful she and her newborn baby boy are on the road to recovery after she gave birth while in a coma due to a COVID-19 infection.
The baby was born at the end of October, about two months before the due date.
When the woman was admitted to the hospital at the end of October, she was 30 weeks pregnant. At the same time, she had severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19. “I just remember coming that night to the hospital. I don’t know anything else,” she recalls.
The patient ended up in the Anesthesiology and Resuscitation Department. “Her condition worsened so much that it was necessary to put the patient on artificial lung ventilation,” says Lenka Klimešová, doctor at the Merciful Brothers Hospital.
As the woman lay comatose in her hospital room, her medical team had an hour-long meeting to decide how to handle her care — and her pregnancy. The doctors suggested they induce labour to give her lungs more space and her body more nutrients.
They decided to give birth by caesarean section. “The newborn was transferred to the intensive care unit at the maternity hospital, where they specialize in low birth weight newborns,” explained Ivan Huvar, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.
The woman was awakened from induced sleep eleven days after the birth. “The worst thing was finding out that I don’t have a baby, it was very mentally demanding. I had hallucinations and it took me a while to understand how it happened,” she described.
This isn’t the first time a woman has had to give birth while in a coma due to COVID-19.
In late March, a woman in the US, 34 weeks pregnant at the time, decided to go into a medically induced coma. Her daughter Ava was born on April 1 and she would not awake from the coma until five days later.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, pregnant women have the same mortality rate for COVID-19 as the general population but are more likely to be hospitalized from the virus.