Covid-19 and fetal blood sampling and/or use fetal scalp electrodes

05 May 2020

Evidence regarding Covid-19 infection in pregnancy and risk of transmission is emerging. Unfortunately, data are scarce. We do know that Covid-19 is not a blood born infection, that the virus has not been isolated in the genital tract (although it is found in stool, which is relevant in labouring women) and that evidence of vertical transmission is still equivocal. Our current advice is that fetal blood sampling (FBS) and fetal scalp electrodes (FSE) remain valuable tools in labour management and should continue to be used as indicated i.e. no change in current practice for asymptomatic, screen-negative women. In women with known Covid-19 infection, apply caution with the use of FBS/FSE, weighing up known the benefits of improved assessment of fetal wellbeing with a currently unquantifiable, but possible, small increased risk of fetal transmission. Reassuringly, infected neonates, appear to do well.

Given the paucity of data, this advice is not definitive. RANZCOG will remain alert to new information and update our advice accordingly.



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