In a rare case, a 27-year-old COVID-19 patient, who had conceived using assisted reproductive technology (ART), delivered triplets at the Government General Hospital, Nizamabad. This was a rare case as the woman, apart from suffering from severe COVID symptoms, had premature rupture of membrane at 35 weeks of pregnancy; the normal gestational period is 39-40 weeks. These two factors weighed heavily in the minds of doctors.
Two boys, one girl
Though the woman gave birth to two boys and a girl on October 22, doctors at the hospital let the news out on Wednesday only after ensuring that the mother and the triplets were in good health. They were discharged on Wednesday afternoon.
The doctors were ecstatic as the three newborns tested negative for coronavirus when tests were conducted on them before discharge. The mother, too, has recovered from the infectious disease.
“We were all concerned about health of the mother and the three newborns over the past 12 days. We kept them under close observation. Only after ensuring that they were in good health, we discharged them. They tested negative for COVID twice in tests conducted before discharge,” said D. Prathima Raj, superintendent of the government hospital.
The woman was detected with COVID-19 at 35 weeks of pregnancy. A private hospital that she approached did not admit her due to her COVID-19 status. Instead, they directed her to the Government General Hospital.
“The private hospital doctor informed us that a woman who had conceived through ART had tested positive for COVID and had premature rupture of membrane. The delivery had to be performed as soon as possible as there was risk to her and the triplets in her womb. Though we were a little wary as the COVID-19 was severe in her, there was no time to send her to Gandhi Hospital, Hyderabad. We admitted her and performed C-Section delivery,” Dr Prathima said.
After birth, the two male babies weighed around 1.2 kg each and the female baby weighed 1.5 kg. As they had low birth weight, the babies were admitted to the Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU) at the hospital. The mother was kept in isolation ward as she was a high-risk patient.
Apart from specialists from obstetrics and gynaecology department, and anaesthesia department, doctors from general medicine, paediatrics, and those who took care of SNCU as well as a host of nurses were involved in taking care of the four patients who were discharged on Wednesday afternoon.
In September, the team of doctors had performed delivery on another COVID-19 patient who delivered twins.