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Universal screening for SARS-CoV-2 in pregnant women should be weighed by population incidence of the disease
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  • Elisabeth van LeeuwenOrcid,
  • Pim Teunissen,
  • Eva Pajkrt,
  • Janke Schinkel,
  • Christianne de Groot,
  • Wessel Ganzevoort
Elisabeth van Leeuwen
Orcid
Amsterdam University Medical Centres
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Pim Teunissen
Amsterdam UMC
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Eva Pajkrt
Amsterdam Universitair Medische Centra
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Janke Schinkel
Amsterdam Universitair Medische Centra
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Christianne de Groot
Amsterdam UMC
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Wessel Ganzevoort
Amsterdam UMC - Locatie AMC
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Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate universal SARS-CoV-2 screening in labouring women in a tertiary hospital in the Netherlands. Women with an unknown SARS-CoV-2 were treated as COVID-19 positive in theatre. As COVID-19 precautions differed from standard care, this may have contributed to adverse perinatal outcomes. Methods: Women admitted to the labour- and pregnancy ward were consecutively asked for COVID-19 symptoms and then screened for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. Results: From March 5 2020 to May 13, 283 women without COVID-19 symptoms were screened. One post-symptomatic woman was excluded from the analysis. 3/ 282 women (1.1%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. In one woman, a pending SARS-CoV-2 test, may have worsened perinatal asphyxia in her child, and in two other cases with post-partum haemorrhage the prolonged decision-to intervention interval may have contributed to more blood loss. Conclusion: Caretakers should balance the potential additional perinatal risks of alternative care processes for unscreened SARS-CoV-2 patients in obstetric emergencies.