How to prevent in-hospital COVID-19 infection and reassure women about the safety of pregnancy: Experience from an obstetric center in China

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Objective: This study aimed to describe the emergency responses to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for pregnant patients at our hospital and their effect on hospital operations and patients’ outcomes. Methods: We developed strategies to prevent hospital-associated transmission of COVID-19 in obstetric care. Infrastructure, including the fever clinic and wards, were modified. Outpatient volume was controlled and screening processes were strictly performed. Verification of the virus was compulsory for non-surgery and non-emergency patients. Emergency operations were performed in a negative pressure theater with surgeons fully protected. Outcomes were analyzed and the patients’ characteristics were evaluated. The effect of intervention on depressed and anxious patients was assessed. Data from the first 2 months of 2019 and 2020 were compared. Results: No in-hospital COVID-19 infections occurred in our unit. During the epidemic, patient volume significantly decreased. While major characteristics of patients were similar, a higher prevalence of gestational hypertension was found in 2020 than in 2019. Psychological interventions showed optimistic effects in ameliorating depression and anxiety at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: Our strategies were effective in preventing in-hospital infection of COVID-19 and reassuring women about the safety of pregnancy. Monitoring and managing psychological issues were necessary during this critical period.

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