After a woman with coronavirus gave birth to triplets in Guadalupe, Zacatecas, last week two of the babies died and 46 members of the hospital’s medical staff were sent home to self-isolate due to fears they may have been exposed to the virus.
The 29-year-old woman from Sombrerete traveled to the Zacatecas Women’s Hospital after she started going into premature labor on May 6, Health Ministry spokesman Jesús Gerardo López Longoria said.
The woman showed no signs of coronavirus when she was admitted.
Medical staff attempted to inhibit labor as the pregnancy was not to term, but were unsuccessful.
As labor progressed into Friday, doctors opted to perform a cesarean section and the three premature infants were sent to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, where two of them died.
All three babies tested negative for coronavirus; the two who died perished from pulmonary insufficiency due to their premature birth.
After surgery, medical staff noticed that the woman’s blood oxygen levels were low and tested her for coronavirus. The results came back positive.
The woman was transferred to another hospital’s dedicated Covid unit where she remains in stable condition.
However, during the four days she was at the Women’s Hospital the patient came into contact with many hospital personnel.
As a result, three obstetrician-gynecologists, 16 nurses, an x-ray technician, two orderlies, three janitors and 21 medical residents have been asked to self-isolate at home until Friday when they will be tested for the coronavirus before being allowed to return to work. None has reported symptoms thus far. The Ministry of Health has sent 15 nurses to help cover for those in quarantine.
Although the Women’s Hospital does not treat coronavirus patients, staff know that they could come into contact with asymptomatic patients at any time.
“Being a medical unit, the risk exists and health personnel know it. No one on the staff can say that they are not informed about the disease and its scope,” López said.
He called the experience a teaching moment and an opportunity “for the hospital to review protocols and ensure that they do not have weaknesses in the processes so that a similar event does not occur.”