Otherwise Healthy Israeli Woman in Advanced Pregnancy on Ventilator With COVID-19

Doctors at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital believe her fetus is unharmed and say they hope to take her off the ventilator soon

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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A medical worker wearing protective gear in Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital.
A medical worker wearing protective gear in Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

A woman in her 30s who is 29 weeks pregnant has been in a Tel Aviv hospital for around a week, sedated and on a ventilator due to COVID-19.

Officials at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) say her condition has improved and she may be able to breathe on her own soon. A senior physician said tests indicate that her fetus is healthy.

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The woman was admitted to the hospital 10 days ago after testing positive for the coronavirus, complaining of shortness of breath. Within 48 hours her condition worsened, and she was sedated and placed on a breathing machine on July 26.

“The fetal monitoring is normal, the patient’s condition is improving and she seems to be nearing the end of respiratory support,” Prof. Yariv Yogev, the director of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, told Haaretz. “From what we see, the fetal oxygen levels are normal and the fetus continues to develop normally,” he noted. “From what we know from the medical literature, prolonged ventilation does not affect fetuses with normal blood oxygen levels.”

According to Health Ministry data, around 770 pregnant women have been ill with COVID-19 since the outbreak began in February. The overwhelming majority had only mild symptoms, and only five severe cases were recorded. Around 100 of them are known to have given birth while being sick with COVID-19. In all but one case, where the infant suffered from breathing difficulties, the babies were born healthy and close to their due dates.

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