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16 pregnant women have been admitted to ICU with Covid-19 so far this year

There were not fatalities among these women or their unborn babies.

Dr. Michael Power, HSE National Clinical Lead.
Dr. Michael Power, HSE National Clinical Lead.
Image: Sam Boal/

THE HSE HAS said that 16 pregnant women were admitted to ICU units with Covid-19 this year, with no fatalities among that group and no fatalities among their unborn babies.

Speaking at the Department of Health this afternoon, head of the HSE’s Critical Care Programme Dr Michael Power said there were no pregnant women admitted to ICU with Covid-19 in 2020. 

HSE advice to pregnant women is that, while most who get Covid-19 will have moderate to mild symptoms, they are more likely than women who are not pregnant to become very unwell and need treatment in intensive care.

If they are not already protected, pregnant women are advised to get both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine between 14 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. 

Power said that “most” of the 16 pregnant women who were admitted to ICU this year were not vaccinated. 

Asked about the number of pregnant women who have been admitted to ICU this year, Power said that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has recently collated this information. 

“Since January to August of this year there have been 16 women who have been admitted to the ICUs in Ireland, there were none admitted in 2020. Of those 16 women, 10 received an invasive ventilator. Seven women were delivered of the pregnancy while in the ICU and thankfully, of those 16 women were admitted to the ICU, there were no fatalities. Additionally, in terms of foetal outcome, there were no neonatal deaths either,” he said.

Power said that, in the case of those 16 women, Covid was the cause of all of the admissions.

He said that it had not been determined if the reason for 16 women being admitted this year and none last year were because of a particular variant of the virus. 

Health officials today confirmed a further 1,571 cases of Covid-19 in this country, with 307 people in hospital with the virus and 55 in intensive care, 

Power said that the number of Covid-19 patients in ICU was increasing by about one per day, with about five or six new admissions each day and five discharges. 

He added that the best way for people to protect the country’s critical care system is to ensure they are vaccinated against Covid-19.

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“There are currently 55 people in intensive care in our hospitals. Critical care is our last defence against Covid-19. All of our ICUs have limited capacity – when ICU beds are required by patients with Covid-19, it reduces what is available in the system for other patients who require critical care,” he said.


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Rónán Duffy

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