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Guidance Issued for Prenatal Care in Setting of COVID-19

Elective, nonurgent visits to be postponed; lab work, US should be performed during in-person visits

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In new guidelines specific to maternal-fetal medicine practitioners, published online March 19 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM, recommendations are presented for prenatal care in the setting of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rupsa C. Boeling, M.D., from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues address the current COVID-19 pandemic for maternal-fetal medicine practitioners, with the goals of reducing patient risk through health care exposure and reducing the public health burden of COVID-19 transmission through the general population.

The recommendations relate to issues including modifications of outpatient obstetrical (prenatal) visits, scheduling of obstetrical ultrasound, and modification of nonstress tests and biophysical profiles. Elective or nonurgent visits should be postponed; each patient should be called to decide on the need for subsequent visits and/or tests. New obstetric intake should be completed remotely or by telehealth unless the patient describes an urgent problem. Laboratory work and/or ultrasounds should be performed at the same time as in-person visits. The routine practice of face-to-face counseling for ultrasounds should be altered. Patients should be instructed to obtain a blood pressure cuff if feasible to minimize other in-patient visits.

"We know that these recommendations won't cover every situation," a coauthor said in a statement. "In areas with a higher COVID-19 incidence more restrictive measures will likely be appropriate. This guidance is changing daily, in fact hourly. Stay tuned."

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