At least nine pregnant women are in serious condition on Tuesday after they were hospitalized with COVID-19, raising concerns about their own and their babies chances of survival.
Four babies were already delivered. One had died. Medical teams are fighting for the life of a 33- year old woman at the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance from her home in Jerusalem and was operated on immediately upon her arrival.
Dr. Ilya Kagan, head of the Intensive Care Unit said the patient is in real danger for her life.
"We are fighting to keep her alive," he said. "We hope that delivering the baby would give both him and his mother a better fighting chance."
Professor Arnon Viznitzer, head of the Maternity said the current wave of COVID-19 appears to be more violent and is causing severe illness in a younger population.
A second woman, 35 years of age was transferred there on Monday from the Laniado hospital in Netanya after her condition deteriorated. Despite the pregnancy being in its 31st week, doctors decided to deliver her baby who was born after a cesarean section and is described in stable condition and receiving respiratory assistance.
The Laniado Hospital said they are treating another woman who is suffering from COVID-19 while pregnant. After her baby was delivered in an emergency cesarean operation, the mother is on a ventilator in critical condition. Hospital officials warned that they are running out of ICU beds and are calling for the Health and Finance Ministries to transfer more funding needed to provide health care to the population serviced by the facility.
Four other women were hospitalized in the Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in predominately ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak, all suffering from respiratory distress.
The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan is also treating a pregnant woman in serious condition. The woman is in the first trimester of her gestation and is said to be awake but receiving oxygen.
Dr. Yael Haviv, head of the Intensive Care Unit said young patients with no underlying health conditions are hospitalized in life threatening condition. "This is no longer an old people's disease," she said.
On Saturday, a newborn died after being delivered by cesarean section at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. Following the tragedy, health officials instructed all hospitals to provide a genetic DNA sequencing of the pregnant women in their care who are suffering from COVID-19.
Professor Galia Rahav, Director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Sheba Medical Center said there may be a need to administer coronavirus vaccines to pregnant women in ultra-Orthodox population centers.
According to the health ministry the rate of contagion from COVID-19 in the Haredi sector is five times that found in the general population.
"These women hospitalized with serious respiratory distress and most come from ultra-Orthodox areas," Rahav said. "We are witnessing something we have not seen during the previous waves of the disease and that could be attributed to the new strains of the virus."