Differences in obstetric healthcare utilization and delivery complications before and after the COVID-19 pandemic – a retrospective study

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2021 Jun 28:1-6. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2021.1946506. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare utilization related to labor and delivery and to assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on intra-partum and delivery complications.

METHODS: This retrospective study was performed at a university-affiliated, tertiary medical center. It included women admitted to the delivery room from 1 March 2020 to 23 July 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were compared against women who were admitted to the delivery room during the same time period in 2019. The outcomes of 2701 deliveries during the pre-pandemic period were compared to those of 2668 deliveries during the pandemic period. Main outcomes were pregnancy and delivery outcomes.

RESULTS: The mean number of emergency department visits before admission for delivery was higher in the pre-pandemic period than in the pandemic period (2.3 ± 1.5 and 2.1 ± 1.3 visits, respectively; p < .01). There were no significant differences in other intra- and postpartum complications. The incidence of a prolonged third stage of labor was higher in the pre-pandemic than in the pandemic period (225 (10%) and 182 (8.1%), respectively; p = .03). The mean duration of post-partum maternal hospitalization was longer in the pre-pandemic than in the pandemic period (3.6 ± 0.9 and 3.4 ± 1.0 days, respectively; p < .01). Neonatal outcomes were comparable for Apgar scores, birth weight, and newborn intensive care unit admission for both periods; however, the mean duration of neonatal hospitalization was longer in the pre-pandemic than in the pandemic period (3.5 ± 3.2 and 3.2 ± 1.1 days, respectively; p < .01).

CONCLUSIONS: In our study population, in the presence of public and accessible obstetric medicine, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect pregnancy or early delivery outcomes.

PMID:34182871 | DOI:10.1080/14767058.2021.1946506