SAN DIEGO – A Sharp HealthCare fetal medicine specialist says she’s seen a rise in the number of pregnant women hospitalized from COVID-19 as San Diego County reported Friday its first pregnant woman to die from the virus.
Local public health officials say the woman, as well as her unborn child, died earlier this week after being hospitalized. Not much has been publicly shared about the woman due to privacy concerns, but officials said she was unvaccinated.
More than 170 pregnant women nationwide have died of COVID-19 complications since the start of the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of those hospitalized, 97% have not been vaccinated against COVID, the CDC reported.
“There is a significant increase in comparison to what we’re going through now with the delta surge to what we saw in the very beginning of the pandemic,” Dr. Joanna Adamczak of Sharp HealthCare told FOX 5.
Adamczak said pregnant women already are in a high-risk group. Contracting COVID during pregnancy comes with the risk of premature birth, or death, she said.
“Women are, in general, immunocompromised during pregnancy,” she said. “They have decreased lung capacity and all of that affects the mom.”
The best way to prevent women from dying from COVID is vaccination, Adamczak said.
“It decreases the risk of death, and this is a known complication it’s the most severe complication,” she said. “It’s tragic, but it’s true.”
A list of vaccination sites in San Diego County is available online at coronavirus-sd.com.