Bright New Beginnings
For me, one of the most emotionally taxing thing about the SARS-CoV2 pandemic infection control precautions in the challenges at the start and end of life. To be the parent of a child who dies at this time must bear additional agonies, and the joy of a new birth may be tempered too.
While we can continue to do our part in supporting and identifying the psychological burdens of lockdown and distancing measures on new parents, we also need to consider how to manage babies born to mothers who test SARS-CoV2 positive. Fortunately there are some simple, clear, guidelines as of Saturday 28 March:
- If you’re at a delivery, where the mother has tested positive, wear appropriate PPE to protect yourself from spread from the mum
- The baby has an extremely low risk of being infected themselves
- Don’t test the baby (unless it’s unwell)
- If the baby and mum are well – they should be together
- If the baby is unwell, treat it appropriately, ideally alongside the mum
- If the baby needs NICU care, make sure they are isolated from other babies in the nursery
- If the mum is unwell, the baby will need to be looked after by an alternative carer
- If lockdown ever ends, it’s probable the baby/mother will need a 14-day quarantine period.
Now in the ever changing world in which we live in, you must make sure to keep checking for updates … the RCOG and RCPCH are making sure they do all their best to keep together and keep abrest of all the latest information. As you’d probably advise your patients, don’t trust what you see on the social medias.
(With thanks to Cheryl Battersby, Consultant Neonatologist, Imperial)