OBGYN who tested positive for COVID-19 while pregnant warns of risks

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Dr. Kelly Ferroni was hospitalized with COVID in October last year before vaccines were available, while she was pregnant and 26 weeks along.

”I had to have steroids to help mature the baby’s lungs in case she needed to be delivered early to improve my respiratory status,” Ferroni said.

Dr. Joel Kline, a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said it’s common for pregnant women with COVID-19 to deliver early.

“We’re very concerned with the babies developing brain and other organs, so the babies when their mother’s oxygen can’t be maintained appropriately get delivered early and that, of course, carries it’s own risk,” Kline said.

Ferroni delivered baby Madeline in February, at full term and healthy, something she calls lucky.

Now she’s an obstetrician-gynecologist at UIHC, working with pregnant women who get COVID.

”I strongly recommend all pregnant women get vaccinated. My daughter and I were lucky but I could see how sick, and we continue to see on a daily basis how sick women can get with COVID-19. And after having been in that position, I do not want another woman to go through that,” Ferroni said.

Kline is also encouraging pregnant women to get vaccinated.

”I think that there is misinformation out there. I think that women are being told sometimes by their primary care providers or obstetricians that it’s safe to wait perhaps until later in the pregnancy to get the vaccine. But unfortunately, we’ve seen a number of cases where the women have the intention of getting the vaccine in their 3rd trimester but unfortunately, before that they came down with COVID with very severe outcomes,” Kline said.

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