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Doctors Seeing Increase In Serious COVID Cases With Pregnant Women

SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — While studies suggest the Omicron variant is less virulent, a local doctor said that her hospital is seeing more COVID-positive pregnant women landing in the emergency room.

"It is not mild for these women," said Dr. Courtney Martin, medical director at Loma Lina University Children's Hospital. "There are repercussions that are very serious, like premature delivery, and we can never undo a premature birth. Those babies live with lifelong consequences."

This is what happened to Blanca Rodriguez almost two years ago. In July 2020, Rodriguez was seven months pregnant with her little girl when she tested positive for COVID.

"I couldn't feel the baby kick no more," she said.

Blanca Rodriguez
(Credit: CBSLA)

Those would be the last words she said to her family before doctors induced a coma and she said goodbye to her family.

"I told my husband to take care of the kids and I'll be OK," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez woke up a week after her baby daughter, Jade, was born via emergency cesarean section. However, the mother and daughter did not meet until another month later, when they were both happy and healthy.

According to Martin, Rodriguez is one of the lucky ones. Even a year and a half later and with vaccines readily available, the medical director said that more pregnant mothers are being rushed to the hospital.

"Only about 33 to 37% of pregnant women have been vaccinated," said Martin. "And In San Bernardino County that number is lower. It's probably around 20 to 25%.

Martin added that the situation in San Berardino County is much worse than the national trend, especially among women of color. She hopes Rodriguez's story motivates pregnant mothers to get vaccinated.

"None of our patients who are critically ill or moderately ill were vaccinated," said Martin. "We know right now we have a way to prevent anyone from going through what Blanca and Jade did."


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