KevinMD Feature: What does it even mean to work through the unimaginable?
When the Delta variant hit Mississippi, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published alarming statistics for maternal and perinatal deaths. Pregnant women were dying at three times the pre-COVID baseline rate. These young, healthy women would rapidly deteriorate in a matter of days, with three weeks as the average time to death. And those were just the moms. Fetuses under 20 weeks gestation aren’t counted in the mortality rate of COVID infections, but they are the most innocent victims of this pandemic.
Trying to rationalize outcomes, OBGYNs turned to Facebook, WhatsApp international group texts, frantic phone calls to our peers, and the rabbit hole for critical care protocols. At first, the poor outcomes were anecdotal, then clustered in outbreak epicenters, then studied formally. Finally, there was confirmation; miscarriages were increasing, and not just the first trimester ones.