COVID-19 control measures shorten hospital stays for moms, babies

November 02, 2020

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 2, 2020) -- New infection prevention practices implemented during the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in significantly shorter hospital stays for mothers and their babies, according to investigators at Cedars-Sinai, with no changes in the rates of cesarean deliveries, complications or poor outcomes.

The retrospective study, recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM, examined the impact of several modifications in the Labor and Delivery Unit at the medical center. The changes included temperature screening of all patients and visitors, limiting the number of visitors, providing staff with personal protective equipment (PPE), and new approaches to delivery management and newborn care.

"Patients can be reassured that appropriate measures have been taken to protect them and their babies and that those changes are not going to impact their ability to have a good and safe delivery with us," said Naomi Greene, PhD, principal investigator of the study and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai.

The study reviewed data from 1,936 deliveries, comparing two separate groups. The first cohort were patients who gave birth in January and February of 2020, before new COVID-19 guidelines were in place. The second group had their babies in March and April, after infection control protocols were implemented at the medical center.

"When the Labor and Delivery Unit made safety modifications in response to the pandemic, approximately half of the women who had vaginal deliveries - and their babies - stayed just one night in the hospital. But before the pandemic, only a quarter of the women giving birth went home after one night; most spent two nights, on average," said Greene.

Similar patterns were seen among women who had a cesarean delivery. More than 40% of them spent two days or less in the hospital once pandemic protocols were in place. But before the safety changes, a much smaller number were discharged within two days - just 12%, said Greene.

Maternal-fetal medicine specialist Mariam Naqvi, MD, senior author on the study, said it was encouraging to find the shorter stay did not appear to impact the care or welfare of the mother and her child.

"It's always our goal to discharge a patient after she has met all of her postpartum milestones and is medically stable to go home. But with COVID-19, we are mindful of the potential risk of unnecessary or prolonged stays in the hospital. It is encouraging to see that in the short term, spending less time was not associated with more complications," said Naqvi, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai.

Here are additional findings researchers noted when comparing the groups delivering before and after the implementation of pandemic safety modifications: "Our study suggests there may be value in exploring whether there are benefits, post-pandemic, of a shorter hospital stay for childbirth. Also, perhaps limiting visitors may give women and their partners time to focus more on the new baby and the helpful in-patient education we provide," said Sarah Kilpatrick, MD, PhD, a co-author of the study and the Helping Hand of Los Angeles Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai.

"Our goal during these unprecedented and stressful times is to provide the safest care possible and to get families home, as soon as is safely possible," said Kilpatrick.
-end-


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related Pandemic Articles from Brightsurf:

Areas where the next pandemic could emerge are revealed
An international team of human- and animal health experts has incorporated environmental, social and economic considerations -- including air transit centrality - to identify key areas at risk of leading to the next pandemic.

Narcissists love being pandemic 'essential workers'
There's one group of essential workers who especially enjoy being called a ''hero'' during the COVID-19 pandemic: narcissists.

COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
An interdisciplinary team from the University of Geneva and the ETH Z├╝rich spin-off Meteodat investigated possible interactions between acutely elevated levels of fine particulate matter and the virulence of the coronavirus disease.

People who purchased firearms during pandemic more likely to be suicidal
People who purchase a firearm during the pandemic are more likely to be suicidal than other firearm owners, according to a Rutgers study.

Measles outbreaks likely in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
Major measles outbreaks will likely occur during 2021 as an unexpected consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new academic article.

The COVID-19 pandemic: How US universities responded
A new George Mason University study found that the majority of university announcements occurred on the same day as the World Health Organization's pandemic declaration.

Researchers find evidence of pandemic fatigue
A new study from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology shows that the behavioral responses to COVID-19 differed by age.

Excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic.

How fear encourages physical distancing during pandemic
Despite guidelines plastered on the walls and floors of grocery and retail stores encouraging customers to maintain six-feet of physical distance during the pandemic, many do not.

COVID-19 pandemic and $16 trillion virus
This Viewpoint aggregates mortality, morbidity, mental health conditions, and direct economic losses to estimate the total cost of the pandemic in the US on the optimistic assumption that it will be substantially contained by the fall of 2021.

Read More: Pandemic News and Pandemic Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.