Previous evidence suggests the chances of stillbirth are higher than usual for pregnant women with COVID-19, particularly from the delta variant. Vaccination recommendations include pregnant women and note their higher risk for complications when infected.
It’s an uncommon outcome for any pregnancy but women with COVID-19 face an elevated risk. Authorities believe vaccination can help prevent these cases.
Researchers in 12 countries, including the United States, analyzed placental and autopsy tissue from 64 stillbirths and four newborns who died shortly after birth. The cases all involved unvaccinated women who had COVID-19 during their pregnancy.
The study bolsters evidence from small case reports and it confirms that placenta damage rather than an infection of the fetus is the likely cause of many COVID-19-related stillbirths, said Dr. Jeffery Goldstein, a pathologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
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