Covid-19 infection led to second trimester miscarriage - RCPI

Medical body links coronavirus-related infection of placenta to B117 strain

A Covid-19 infection led to a woman having a second trimester miscarriage earlier this year, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) has said.

The RCPI’s Faculty of Pathology and the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also confirmed six cases of stillbirth caused by a coronavirus-related infection of the placenta since January in addition to the miscarriage caused by placentitis linked to the Covid-19.

The medical body said the six cases are among “a total of 11 cases” of placentitis caused by Covid-19 to have been identified in Ireland since the start of the pandemic.

The infections were linked to the more transmissible strain of the coronavirus first detected in the UK last autumn that spread to Ireland and which has become the dominant strain since the third wave of the pandemic swept the country during the Christmas and New Year period.


“Results to date, from the baby’s deaths, indicate a link with the B117 variant of concern which may explain why this finding was not a significant feature of the first and second waves in 2020,” said the statement released by the RCPI.

“It may also partially explain why it is not a clear feature of Covid-19 infection in the international literature to date, which largely dates from Covid-19 cases seen in 2020.”

The statement said that condition appears to occur a relatively short time after contracting Covid-19 infection, ranging up to 21 days from experiencing symptoms.

It said that maternal Covid-19 symptoms varied from none to moderate.

The current clinical advice is for pregnant women to notify their hospital if they test positive for Covid-19 to present early if there are concerns regarding reduced foetal movements.

Pregnant women are eligible for vaccination if in a priority group and “should be supported in making an informed decision regarding whether to accept or not,” said the RCPI.

Vaccination of pregnant women can occur between 14 and 36 weeks.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times