The study indicated that it is an uncommon outcome of any pregnancy, but women who have contracted Covid face a higher risk. The authorities believe that vaccination can prevent these cases.
Researchers from 12 countries, including the United States, analyzed placental tissue and autopsied 64 stillborns and four cadavers of newborns who were born but died shortly after birth. All cases included unvaccinated women who contracted COVID-19 during pregnancy.
The study reinforces evidence from smaller reports that placental injury rather than fetal infection is the most likely cause of many stillbirths in Covid-related cases, according to Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein, a pathologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Previous evidence indicated that the chances of stillbirth are higher than usual among pregnant women infected with corona, especially the delta mutant. Vaccine recommendations include pregnant women and indicate a higher risk of complications when infected with the virus.
The study’s senior author, Dr. David Schwartz, a pathologist in Atlanta, says other infections can cross the placenta and cause fetal death, usually by transferring to and destroying the fetus. For example, the Zika virus.
He and his colleagues wanted to know if this was the case in stillbirth in women with Covid. But what they found was almost the opposite: it was the placenta that was most severely damaged and destroyed.
“A lot of these cases have had the placenta destroyed by more than 90 percent – that’s very frightening,” Schwartz said.