Medical professionals in Malaga faced a new challenge last weekend; to deliver the baby of a woman infected by Covid-19, the first situation of its kind in Spain.
The 33-year-old mother, who works as a nursing auxiliary at a health centre in Malaga, was initially isolated on the eighth floor of the Materno hospital, after showing symptoms and testing positive for Covid-19. She was then moved to intensive care, when she began to feel worse.
As her condition was deteriorating, doctors decided to carry out a caesarian birth to alleviate the pressure the baby was putting on her lungs. This also meant she no longer needed to use her oxygen for the baby girl, who was born 27 weeks and five days into the pregnancy, weighing 1.2 kilos.
The staff involved in the operation had to use personal protective equipment, including hazmat suits, which had never been needed before for a caesarian section. This was a completely unknown scenario.
The virus has developed so recently that there are still doubts about how it can affect pregnant women who catch it and their babies, although the specialists insist that it is essential to keep calm, as there does not appear to be a high risk of Covid-19 being passed to babies from their mothers.
The case of the woman with the virus who gave birth at the Materno was exceptional because of the circumstances. After going to the hospital with respiratory problems, she was tested for Covid-19 but was then sent back home. When the result proved positive, she was immediately admitted; by then she had severe breathing difficulties. These led to pneumonia, and doctors decided they had no choice but to carry out the operation.
The baby girl was tested for coronavirus when she was born, and when the result came through it was negative. She is currently in isolation in an incubator in the Intensive Monitoring Unit in the Neonatal department at the Materno. She will be tested again in a few days, say sources at the hospital, to make absolutely sure that she has not developed the virus.
After the birth the mother was described as being in a "worrying" condition and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the Regional Hospital. Earlier this week it was reported that she was responding well to the treatments and her oxygen levels were improving.
Her daughter is still in a stable condition, and the doctors are confident she will survive. Her mother's coronavirus has not been able to beat her.