In-person hospital visits are safe amidst Covid-19, says US study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 18, 2020

‘There is no link between hospital visits and risk of Covid infection’

Researchers in the US have analysed pregnant patients in Massachusetts and concluded that in-person health visits were not a risk factor for catching the coronavirus if necessary protocols and guidelines are followed, as per the report published in the journal of News-Medical.

The researchers found no link between the number of in-person health care visits and the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in Massachusetts.

Sharon Reale from the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, stated in the study: “One major concern in obstetrics, but also in general medicine, is that patients are avoiding necessary medical care because of fear of contracting Covid-19 in a health care setting, but there was no indication that in-person health care affects the risk of infection.”

Some patients have resorted to telemedicine and virtual visits of the clinic to avoid contracting the virus.

But, many needed frequent in-person checkups, exams, and lab tests to ensure the good health of both mother and baby or babies.

To conduct their study, Reale and colleagues used a case-control approach in which patients who tested positive (cases) were matched to those who tested negative (controls) based on gestational age, race/ethnicity, insurance type, and the rate of Covid-19 in the patients’ zip code. The team also adjusted for age, body mass index, and essential worker occupation.

Of close to 3,000 women who delivered during the study period, 111 patients tested positive.

On average, patients who tested positive attended 3.1 visits in person (with a range of 0 to 10 visits); patients who tested negative attended an average of 3.3 visits in person (with a range of 0 to 16 visits).

The authors drew the inference that there was no meaningful association between in-person visits and infection among the patients studied.

“Future studies will be needed to confirm if the findings extend to other patients.

“Results will need to be replicated outside of obstetrics, but this should be reassuring and indicate that necessary and important care should be done and can be done safely,” said Reale.

“Our findings should be reassuring for our obstetrical patients that when they come to the hospital for appointments, they are not increasing their risk of infection,” the authors wrote in their research.

Published on August 18, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like