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Pregnant women cared for without test results

By CAO YIN in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-07 07:56
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A woman surnamed Qi gave birth to her second child in a Shanghai hospital amid the resurgence of the COVID-19 epidemic, even though she did not provide a nucleic acid test before delivery.

The woman, who declined to use her full name, came to the International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital of China Welfare Institute at about 2:30 am on April 19, accompanied by her husband and son.

Given that the situation was urgent, but that she did not have a nucleic acid test result, Zhang Linna, a doctor in the hospital's emergency department, decided to transfer the patient to a quarantine room and suggested her husband look after the boy outside the hospital to better protect the child's health.

"Providing timely treatment for pregnant women and mothers-to-be is the duty of every medic, as it's not only to save the life of the mother, but also to protect the life of the child," said Fang Lan, head nurse of the hospital's emergency department. "We won't exclude them because they have no nucleic acid test results.

"But to ensure the safety of other patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, mothers-to-be without such test results need to be treated and give birth in a quarantine ward," she added.

Qi was given a nucleic acid test while receiving a physical check at about 3 am on April 19. Although the test result would be known in about two hours, Zhang said that she should be pushed into the delivery room in the quarantine area as soon as possible instead of waiting for the result.

"Women having a second child generally give birth faster than their first child," Zhang explained.

"On this occasion, Qi might give birth at any time, so it's not realistic for her to wait for another two hours."

At 3:27 am, Qi was lying in bed in the delivery room. At 4:10 am, she successfully gave birth to a 3-kilogram baby girl.

Similarly, another resident surnamed Zhang who did not have a nucleic acid test also became a mother in the hospital on April 1, the first day her area was locked down due to the epidemic.

Zhang called an ambulance after feeling stomach pain while lining up to have a nucleic acid test.

"In the vehicle, I was worried about whether I could be accepted by the hospital because I had no test result," she said.

"But to my surprise, the emergency department had fully prepared for mothers-to-be like me, providing us with sufficient care as well as a special area for rest and a physical check, so everything on that day was organized," she recalled.

The hospital also carried out a nucleic acid test while offering her timely treatment, and considering that her condition was not that critical, she was transferred to a normal room for delivery after she got a negative test result.

Data from the hospital showed that its emergency and outpatient departments had received 21,496 visits from April 1 to 30, with 903 newborns.

During Shanghai's fight against the latest wave of COVID-19, the municipal government has reassured mothers-to-be of safe and stable medical services, clarifying that pregnant women in emergency situations should be prioritized when calling an ambulance.

The government has required clinical and emergency services at all of the city's maternity hospitals to keep running as usual, even if the metropolis was locked down in late March.


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