By Christopher Sleight
BBC Scotland news
More than 20% of women admitted to intensive attraction for Covid-19 since May 2021 were large oregon had precocious fixed birth, a survey has found.
A Scottish Intensive Care Audit Group study said 42 had been admitted since 18 May 2021, compared with 25 successful the archetypal 2 waves of the pandemic.
The fig has gone up contempt wide intensive attraction numbers reducing.
The Scottish authorities said vaccines were the champion mode to support against the risks of Covid successful pregnancy.
The Scottish Intensive Care Audit Group (SICAG) report recovered that nary deaths of large women pursuing ICU attraction had been reported up to 19 September 2021.
The study counts large women admitted to ICUs and women who were admitted wrong six weeks of giving birth. Admission to precocious dependency units, utilized for managing precocious hazard pregnancies, were not included successful the figures.
In the archetypal 2 waves of the pandemic successful Scotland, betwixt 1 March 2020 and 17 May 2021, 1,850 Covid patients were admitted to ICU, according to SICAG.
Of this number, 630 were women and astir 4% of them were large oregon had precocious fixed birth.
Since 18 May 2021, 189 women person required intensive attraction care for Covid-19 and 22.2% of them person been pregnant.
Dr Sarah Stock, a advisor successful maternal and foetal medicine, said it was inactive uncertain what had caused the rise.
"It could beryllium due to the fact that a overmuch little proportionality of large women are vaccinated, oregon it could beryllium due to the fact that large women are peculiarly susceptible to terrible illness from the Delta variant that has predominated during the 3rd question - but we don't cognize for definite yet," she said.
But Dr Stock, who is co-leading a survey into Covid-19 successful gestation astatine the University of Edinburgh, told BBC Scotland determination was "really beardown evidence" that large women were much apt than different women to beryllium admitted to infirmary and intensive care.
"We besides cognize that though we've had nary deaths successful Scotland yet, information from astir the satellite and successful peculiar the United States has shown higher mortality rates with Covid-19 successful gestation than successful non-pregnant women," she said.
The advisor said determination was besides grounds Covid-19 led to higher premature commencement rates and astir apt caused much stillbirths arsenic well.
"Being large affects your effect to infections. We cognize that large women are much susceptible to viruses - and this is astir apt what we're seeing with Covid-19."
The SICAG study's authors said they had recovered "very few" captious attraction admissions among large women during the archetypal and 2nd waves of the pandemic.
The study continued: "Wave 3 has seen accrued numbers of large women being admitted to infirmary with mean to terrible Covid-19 symptoms requiring captious care.
"The bulk of patients were large connected admittance to captious attraction and 30% were admitted aft delivery."
Most of the women lived successful the astir deprived areas of Scotland, the study added.
The study besides recovered that nary of the women who required attraction successful intensive attraction were afloat vaccinated astatine the clip of admission.
A abstracted study by Public Health Scotland (PHS), published connected 6 October, recovered vaccine take-up among large women successful Scotland was debased crossed each property groups.
PHS estimates that of the 77,679 women who were large betwixt December 2020 and August 2021, astir 18% received astatine slightest a archetypal dose.
The over-40s person achieved the champion level of vaccine sum truthful acold astatine 26.5%. The fig drops to 7% successful the under-19s.
Although younger property groups were vaccinated aboriginal successful the roll-out programme, wide sum successful each property groups isolated from 12-17 twelvemonth olds successful August was supra 70%.
Dr Pat O'Brien, vice president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said a fig of factors could beryllium influencing the summation successful ICU admittance figures.
For example, helium said an summation successful commencement rates this twelvemonth could pb to higher numbers successful ICU, arsenic a proportionality of each large women volition ever go severely sick from Covid-19.
But helium told BBC Scotland the "key message" was for large women to marque definite they were vaccinated.
"There is inactive a important fig of large women being admitted to ICU with Covid. That's evidently atrocious for the woman, but it's besides atrocious for the baby," helium said.
"All of this is preventable by a vaccine that is perfectly harmless to instrumentality successful pregnancy."
A Scottish authorities spokesperson said: "It is wide from the study that unvaccinated radical are considerably much apt to necessitate ICU treatment, truthful it remains captious that everyone who is eligible takes up the connection of vaccination, arsenic this volition support the NHS and prevention lives.
"This includes large women, arsenic vaccination is the champion mode of protecting against the risks of Covid successful pregnancy."