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09:33 AM

Reuters Health: Newborns could develop fetal inflammatory syndrome from mothers with COVID-19

By Carolyn Crist

Throughout the pandemic, doctors have found that pregnant women who contract COVID-19 may be able to pass the infection to their babies. In a new case study, doctors in Kansas City report that newborns could develop a fetal inflammatory response syndrome associated with the virus.

In this instance, the baby was born prematurely and was in critical condition but recovered, yet doctors should consider how the virus may create an inflammatory response during pregnancy, the authors write in the journal Pediatrics.

In the case report, pediatricians at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and the University of Kansas Hospital describe a case of fetal inflammatory response syndrome, or FIRS. They declined to comment for this article.

The 32-year-old mother, who went into labor prematurely at 34 weeks, showed up at the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms and tested positive for the virus. She also had severe preeclampsia.

The baby was delivered quickly and required mechanical ventilation. He had a fever, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and elevated levels of several inflammatory markers. He tested negative for COVID-19 twice, as well as other infectious diseases.

The baby received an antibiotic for seven days and a platelet transfusion for low platelet counts. Ventilation was removed after the fifth day, and he began recovering at the hospital. He was discharged after 22 days with no follow-up required beyond standard prematurity care.

As the pandemic continues, doctors should monitor platelet counts in newborns with inflammation, the authors suggest, especially if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. In this case, platelet counts stabilized after a transfusion.


Read the full story via Reuters Health

Learn more about COVID-19 at Children's Mercy