Guidelines for infected pregnant women isolating at home Guidelines for infected pregnant women isolating at home
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Guidelines for infected pregnant women isolating at home

    This is our series on key coronavirus-related information. Click here to read other installments: #Coronavirus the facts. Find the latest information and answers from experts on everything COVID-19.

    Death prompts new guidelines

    The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have announced joint guidelines for the treatment of pregnant women infected with the coronavirus and isolating at home.

    They compiled the measures after a pregnant woman with the virus was forced to give birth at home in Chiba Prefecture because no hospital would admit her. Eight months pregnant, she called for an ambulance after experiencing bleeding, but neither emergency services nor the local public health office was unable to find her a medical facility. Her baby was born prematurely and was rushed to a hospital, but died.

    Inform your primary care doctor if you get infected

    According to the guidelines, pregnant women should inform their primary care doctors as soon as they know they are infected and will have to recuperate at home. They should contact their primary care doctor if they experience any abnormalities including bleeding, waters breaking, frequent uterine contractions, diminished fetal activity, or an intense stomach ache.

    Monitor health condition

    Infected mothers-to-be are advised to closely monitor their own condition, including measuring their heart and breath rate, temperature, and blood oxygen level.

    Contact primary care doctor or health care center

    Pregnant women with coronavirus should contact a primary care doctor or health care center if they:

    - experience trouble breathing more than twice in one hour
    - find it difficult to breathe when using a restroom
    - have a heart rate exceeding 110 beats per minute, or a breathing frequency more than 20 times a minute
    - observe their blood oxygen level remains at 93-94 percent for an hour, even though they are resting

    When to call an ambulance

    Pregnant women should call an ambulance immediately if it is difficult to breathe, if they are unable to speak even a short sentence, or if their blood oxygen level drops below 92 percent.

    Local government role

    The guidelines also call for municipal governments to ensure mothers-to-be can monitor blood oxygen levels daily at home by distributing pulse oximeters or arranging doctors’ visits.

    This information is accurate as of September 10, 2021.

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