Calgary doctor requests medical supplies to help pregnant women with COVID-19

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A Calgary doctor has received an influx of donations following an urgent social media call asking for equipment to help monitor pregnant women with COVID-19.

Dr Stephanie Cooper, a high-risk obstetrician at Foothills Medical Center, posted a message on Twitter requesting 50 home oxygen monitors for pregnant women with COVID-19. She says she made the call because the equipment is needed quickly as more pregnant women are infected with COVID-19 and as the delta variant increases, she says.

“We are seeing women getting seriously ill, including a number who have had to be admitted to intensive care,” she says. “Over the past six weeks, more has been admitted to Alberta in intensive care than the entire pandemic or period of the pandemic before. “

The increase in intensive care admissions does not represent all pregnant women with COVID-19, Cooper says, as many other COVID-positive women may not be admitted to hospital but could quickly become ill at home.

“What terrifies us now is the sheer volume of patients who will need care and the limited resources that exist within the system.”

Last week, an unvaccinated pregnant woman in Alberta died from a COVID-related infection after being admitted to intensive care units, according to sources familiar with the death.

On September 13, Alberta Health Services sent out a statement urging those who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or have recently given birth, to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends immunization of pregnant women and says there is no proof vaccines can cause fertility problems.

An “incredible” wave of support

Cooper believes she has reached her goal and will have additional oxygen monitors to share with other areas of the province.

“People are like, ‘I want to help, can I do something? “Because so many people feel helpless to watch what’s going on,” Cooper says.

“[There are] just a lot of people who really want to help. It’s incredible.”

“They are afraid”

Alberta is among the provinces with the lowest vaccination rates in Canada.

There are still a large number of pregnant women who are not vaccinated, due to fear and mistrust, Cooper says.

“It’s not because they’re anti-vaccine, it’s because they’re scared. During pregnancy, women were told, ‘don’t drink coffee, don’t take this medicine, don’t do not dye your hair, ”she said. said.

Women often do all they can to protect their babies, Cooper says, but she wants them to know that the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and that it may also offer babies some protection against the virus. .

A new information document of the Ontario Scientific Advisory Table on COVID-19, notes that the risks of contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy include a higher likelihood of needing a cesarean section or having a premature birth, according to preliminary evidence.

A spokesperson for Alberta Health Services said the organization has reached out to see how it can help with the demand for equipment.


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