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Dublin: 7°C Monday 12 April 2021

Four stillbirths with possible links to Covid-19 under investigation by Irish health officials

Dr Ronan Glynn said the condition is “very rare”.

Image: Shutterstock/MIA Studio

HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY they have been made aware of four preliminary reports of stillbirths that are potentially associated with a complication of Covid-19 called Covid Placentitis.

The condition is an infection of the placenta which leads to stillbirth. Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said the reports should be interpreted with caution as the coroners have not yet concluded their findings.

“The HSEs National Women and Infants Programme is aware of and is monitoring the situation and has issued a related notice to obstetric departments,” Dr Glynn said.

The four cases involved pregnant women who tested positive for the coronavirus disease. 

During a National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) briefing this evening, Dr Glynn said there has not been a high incidence of the condition internationally and he does not expect to see a high incidence of it in Ireland.

“It’s important again to reiterate that these findings are preliminary, but we felt that there was a duty on us nonetheless to report those findings. And as soon as we have further information we will report it,” Dr Glynn said.

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Dr Glynn said the advice for pregnant women regarding the virus remains the same. He added that Ireland has had a “very, very positive experience” regarding maternity and Covid-19 compared with any country internationally.

I would say again to women that this doesn’t change what you have to do, if you’re pregnant and listening to this this evening. Ultimately, Covid does pose a potential risk to all of us. And so, it’s not that an individual women needs to do anything different, over and above what they have been doing.
Dr Glynn also said NPHET did not discuss the condition when it met earlier today as it wasn’t aware of the reports at that point.

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Ceimin Burke

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