20.3 C
London
Friday, September 18, 2020

Stillbirths have surged up to 50 percent amid COVID-19 lockdowns

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stillbirth rates have spiked with alarming intensity amid the pandemic and lockdowns intended to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to research from multiple nations. 

In Nepal, stillbirths surged by 50 percent between late March and late May, according to a major study with data on more than 20,000 women. 

A previous study found that the rate of stillbirths at one London hospital increased by four-fold. 

Meanwhile, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that one in four women hospitalized for coronavirus were pregnant – and three of the 93 women included in the study had stillbirths. 

But researchers say the primary driver of the global rise of stillbirths is not coronavirus infection itself. Instead, they believe that people, including pregnant women may have avoided seeking care amid lockdowns  and for fear they might contract the virus at a hospital. 

Stillbirth rates increased by 50% in Nepal amid coronavirus lockdowns, mirroring similar spikes in the UK and India. Researchers believe they may be a consequence of women's avoidance of hospitals amid COVID-19 fears (file)

Stillbirth rates increased by 50% in Nepal amid coronavirus lockdowns, mirroring similar spikes in the UK and India. Researchers believe they may be a consequence of women’s avoidance of hospitals amid COVID-19 fears (file)

‘What we’ve done is cause an unintended spike in stillbirth while trying to protect [pregnant women] from COVID-19,’ Jane Warland, a midwifery specialist at the University of South Australia in Adelaide told Nature.  

In Nepal, the average stillbirth rate across nine hospitals was about 14 per every 1,000 births in the four weeks before the country locked down to fight the spread of coronavirus on March 24. 

Over the course of the following two months, the stillbirth rate shot up to 21 per every 1,000 births. 

The rising rate came as the number of women going to the hospital to give birth plummeted. 

Between March and May there were half as many weekly deliveries in hospitals compared to the number of babies born a week prior to the pandemic lockdowns. 

St George’s University of London saw a similar trend, with the stillbirth rate rising from 2.38 per 1,000 deliveries from last October through January to an average of 9.31 per 1,000 births between February and June. 

India and Scotland too reported increases in stillbirths.

Of the COVID-19 patients included in the CDC study, published Wednesday, 3.2 percent of pregnancies resulted in stillbirths.  

That’s a fairly low rate – but doesn’t capture the number of women who did not have coronavirus and had stillbirths that might have been avoidable with early medical attention. 

In May, a poll found that nearly half of pregnant women were afraid to be in public and risk exposing themselves – and their unborn babies – to coronavirus. 

With non-essential medical appointments discouraged, many prenatal visits moved online. 

It was an important stop-gap, but ran the risk of missed signs of symptoms that could imperil a pregnancy, such as an irregular fetal heartbeat, or preeclampsia, a form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure that can raise risks of stillbirth.   

- Advertisement -

Latest news

‘You daft motherf****r!’: Shocking moment Starbucks customer erupts in furious foul-mouthed rant

A Starbucks customer has been caught erupting into a furious foul-mouthed rant after a server 'spilled coffee on him'.The driver got out of his...
- Advertisement -

Amal Clooney QUITS as UK envoy over Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan to break international law

She is the latest lawyer to distance themselves from the Government over the Internal Market...

Woman bites man’s testicle off ‘as he tried to rape her’ in Brazil

A woman is being investigated by police in Brazil after she bit a man's testicle off. The woman, named locally as Bruna, has admitted to...

Citigroup worker placed on paid leave after being revealed as operator behind a QAnon website

Citygroup has said it has put an employee on paid leave after it was discovered he was the operator behind a popular website linked...

Related news

‘You daft motherf****r!’: Shocking moment Starbucks customer erupts in furious foul-mouthed rant

A Starbucks customer has been caught erupting into a furious foul-mouthed rant after a server 'spilled coffee on him'.The driver got out of his...

Amal Clooney QUITS as UK envoy over Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan to break international law

She is the latest lawyer to distance themselves from the Government over the Internal Market...

Woman bites man’s testicle off ‘as he tried to rape her’ in Brazil

A woman is being investigated by police in Brazil after she bit a man's testicle off. The woman, named locally as Bruna, has admitted to...

Citigroup worker placed on paid leave after being revealed as operator behind a QAnon website

Citygroup has said it has put an employee on paid leave after it was discovered he was the operator behind a popular website linked...
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.