Published time: 08 June 2020
Authors: Marian Knight, professor of maternal and child population health, Kathryn Bunch, epidemiologist1, Nicola Vousden, registrar in public health, Edward Morris, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Nigel Simpson, Chris Gale, Patrick O’Brien, Maria Quigley, Peter Brocklehurst, Jennifer J Kurinczuk
Keywords: pregnant, Covid-19, UK, child population.
To describe a national cohort of pregnant women admitted to hospital with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the UK, identify factors associated with infection, and describe outcomes, including transmission of infection, for mothers and infants.
Prospective national population based cohort study using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS).
All 194 obstetric units in the UK.
427 pregnant women admitted to hospital with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between 1 March 2020 and 14 April 2020.
Main outcome measures
Incidence of maternal hospital admission and infant infection. Rates of maternal death, level 3 critical care unit admission, fetal loss, caesarean birth, preterm birth, stillbirth, early neonatal death, and neonatal unit admission.
The estimated incidence of admission to hospital with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy was 4.9 (95% confidence interval 4.5 to 5.4) per 1000 maternities. 233 (56%) pregnant women admitted to hospital with SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy were from black or other ethnic minority groups, 281 (69%) were overweight or obese, 175 (41%) were aged 35 or over, and 145 (34%) had pre-existing comorbidities. 266 (62%) women gave birth or had a pregnancy loss; 196 (73%) gave birth at term. Forty one (10%) women admitted to hospital needed respiratory support, and five (1%) women died. Twelve (5%) of 265 infants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, six of them within the first 12 hours after birth.
Most pregnant women admitted to hospital with SARS-CoV-2 infection were in the late second or third trimester, supporting guidance for continued social distancing measures in later pregnancy. Most had good outcomes, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to infants was uncommon. The high proportion of women from black or minority ethnic groups admitted with infection needs urgent investigation and explanation.
Characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women admitted to hospital with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK national population based cohort study