WE KNOW EVERYONE IS OVERWHELMED WITH ALL OF THE NEWS ABOUT COVID-19. ATLANTA OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY WANTS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR PATIENTS ARE INFORMED AND PREPARED, BUT NOT PANICKED. HERE ARE SOME ANSWERS (AS OF NOW) FOR SOME OF YOUR FAQS.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORONAVIRUS AND COVID-19?
There are several coronaviruses, many cause the common cold, but others can cause more serious illnesses. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning that it is a new virus, and doctors are still learning about its spread and effects.
WHAT ARE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19? WHAT ABOUT IN PREGNANT WOMEN?
The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
In pregnant women, at this time, very little is known about COVID-19, particularly related to its effect on pregnant women and infants, and there currently are no recommendations specific to pregnant women regarding the evaluation or management of COVID-19. Currently available data on COVID-19 does not indicate that pregnant women are at increased risk. However, pregnant women are known to be at greater risk of severe morbidity and mortality from other respiratory infections such as influenza and SARS-CoV. As such, pregnant women should be considered an at-risk population for COVID-19. Adverse infant outcomes (ex: preterm birth) have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy. However, this information is based on limited data and it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection. Currently it is unclear if COVID-19 can cross through the transplacental route to the fetus. In limited recent case series of infants born to mothers infected with COVID-19 published in the peer-reviewed literature, none of the infants have tested positive for COVID-19.
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM ILL WITH A FEVER AND COUGH?
If you have a fever and cough without any difficulty breathing, treat yourself from home, managing symptoms and monitoring for any worsening of symptoms. Take Tylenol/acetaminophen 1000mg every 8 hrs as needed, but avoid NSAIDs (ex: motrin) as some recent studies show that it worsens symptoms. Remain isolated from any elderly or high-risk people in the household, until symptom-free (without meds) for 72 hours and feeling better.
Please call the office if you are concerned that you are getting worse, especially if any trouble breathing, dehydration, and if pregnant decreased fetal movement, vaginal bleeding, a large gush of fluid, or contractions. We are always available to answer any phone calls if you have questions; please be patient with our staff as they have an increased volume of calls right now and want to make sure they are giving each patient the care and advice needed.
ARE YOU TESTING FOR COVID-19 IN THE OFFICE?
No. We are currently NOT testing for COVID-19 in the office. With the limited number of tests available at this time, it is important to preserve these test kits for use for hospitalized patients and others at high-risk.
IS “SOCIAL DISTANCING” REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?
Yes! The purpose of social distancing is to slow the spread of COVID-19, as our hospitals have a limited number of beds and equipment. We need to help the health care system to be able to have the resources available to care for the elderly, immunocompromised, and medically fragile.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19?
As with any respiratory infection, it is always important to practice good hand hygiene. Remember to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (counters, door handles, light switches). Avoid contact with others when you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Check in on grandparents or elderly/immunocompromised neighbors with a phone call but avoid exposing these high-risk populations to your children.
SHOULD I STILL COME IN FOR MY APPOINTMENTS?
In staying with national recommendations, we are rescheduling annual well woman exams and cancelling all elective surgeries. However, we will be seeing any urgent gyn complaints, placing long-acting contraceptive methods, and seeing all routine OB visits. We are also implementing some telehealth with our physicians doing consultations over the phone to try and minimize exposure for our patients and staff.
Our staff also continues to clean all surfaces frequently, and we encourage you to use the sinks and hand sanitizers in each exam room.
We also request that you leave your children at home and bring your spouses only to very special visits if needed.
WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO DELIVER MY BABY AT PIEDMONT?
Of course. All operations in the hospital are ongoing, and we will provide you with excellent care on labor and delivery. Please be understanding that we are limiting all patients to one visitor. No doulas are allowed on L&D.
SHOULD I WAIT TO CONCEIVE?
As noted above, data is limited, but currently does not show increased risk of birth defects. However, with SARS there was an increased risk of miscarriage. At this time we recommend waiting to conceive. We continue to offer contraception and are placing long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs such as IUDs and nexplanons).
THERE IS SO MUCH INFORMATION RIGHT NOW! WHAT ARE RELIABLE WEBSITES FOR MY FAMILY?
All of us at AOG are working hard to continue to provide high-quality medical care. Please be understanding and patient during this unprecedented time. Thank you for trusting us with your care.