H1N1 causes obstetrical risks in pregnant women: report

May 26, 2010

Pregnant women who contract the H1N1 influenza virus are at an increased risk for obstetrical complications, finds a report published May 24 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. These complications include fetal distress, premature delivery, emergency caesarean delivery and fetal death.

As part of the study, researchers evaluated 18 patients admitted to urban medical centers between May 18 and June 24, 2009. Seven of these patients delivered during their hospital stay -- six prematurely. Five of the premature births involved fetal distress and four were delivered via emergency caesarean section. Two of the babies died at birth, one from spontaneous abortion and the other from complications of severe prematurity and sepsis.

Three of the women were admitted to the intensive care unit during their hospital stay. All were treated with oseltamivir phosphate -- commonly known as Tamiflu -- on the first day of admission, which researchers believe may have reduced the risk of maternal death.