Fatma Yıldız, the 34-year-old who was in the second trimester of her pregnancy when she contracted the swine flu and COVID-19, has recovered. The infection did not affect her unborn child and she was discharged from the hospital Tuesday.
Yıldız, a resident of the southern province of Gaziantep, was in a coma for 12 days and stayed in the intensive care unit for three weeks. She told Ihlas News Agency (IHA) Tuesday that she has been through a difficult process and that she is grateful to the hospital staff for taking care of her.
Dr. Gülseren Elay who is in charge of the intensive care unit at Gaziantep University Hospital where Yıldız was treated, says coronavirus is already a troubling infection for pregnant mothers and while running the tests, they discovered Yıldız also had swine flu.
“Studies show pregnant women’s complications from COVID-19 is 50% more than other patients. Treating them is also like a game of chess. You have to plan your next move well. When the patient came here, her oxygen levels were well below normal and she was at the risk of losing her brain functions and her baby. We applied sleep induction to minimize risks. Viruses had disrupted her liver function. She was plugged into a life support unit for 12 days and at intensive care for another 20 days,” she says.
Elay said Yıldız’s blood also generated acinetobacter infection, an infection resistant to antibiotics, while she was in intensive care. “We had to choose carefully among few drugs we had and we could administer to the patient, so as not to harm unborn baby’s health. In the end, her liver functions resumed and she recovered. We also checked the baby and it was healthy too,” she said.
COVID-19 poses a significant risk for expectant mothers but such cases of recovery serve as inspiring stories for pregnant women. In the capital Ankara, a vaccinated mother had discovered that her newborn baby had developed antibodies against coronavirus.
The swine flu is characterized by common flu symptoms – sudden fever, muscle aches, sore throat and dry cough – but may cause more severe vomiting and diarrhea. Most of these symptoms, if not all, also apply to coronavirus.
COVID-19 has claimed 38,711 lives in Turkey since March 2020. Swine flu was first reported in Turkey in 2009 and has killed hundreds of people since then, though the cases were infrequent and a pandemic has been ruled out. The virus is usually lethal among pregnant mothers and infants, although it can also affect those with existing chronic illnesses and a weak immune system.
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