Review: Universal screening for SARS-CoV-2 in women admitted for delivery
In a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians describe their experience with universally testing pregnant women for SARS-CoV-2 when they were admitted for delivery, regardless of their lack of symptoms or exposure to an infected individual.
215 women delivered babies in the New York–Presbyterian Allen Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center between March 22 and April 4, 2020. 4 of these women had signs of COVID-19 at admission and all 4 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of those 211 without symptoms of SARS-CoV-2, 210 were tested via nasopharyngeal swabs. Of those who were asymptomatic, 29 (13.7%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The letter states that 29 of the 33 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were asymptomatic. The clinicians note that the “potential benefits of a universal testing approach include the ability to use COVID-19 status to determine hospital isolation practices and bed assignments, inform neonatal care, and guide the use of personal protective equipment.”
About the Author: Seema Mohapatra
Seema Mohapatra is an Associate Professor of Law and Dean's Fellow
at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, She teaches Introduction to Health Care Law and Policy, Genetics and the Law, Torts, and Bioethics and the Law. Seema Mohapatra is an expert in the areas of health care law, public health law, bioethics, torts, and international health and family law. Her research interests include the intersection of biosciences and the law, assisted reproduction and surrogacy, international family and health law, health care disparities in the United States, and informed consent. Her work has been published in several journals, including the Wake Forest Law Review, Colorado Law Review, Brooklyn Law Review, and the Harvard Journal of Law & Policy. Professor Mohapatra currently teaches Torts, Introduction to Health Care Law, Bioethics, and Genetics and the Law. She has authored articles and book chapters on topics such as insurance coverage of infertility and assisted reproduction, genetics and health privacy, international surrogacy laws, and equity in healthcare coverage. Professor Mohapatra regularly presents her research nationally and internationally at legal and medical conferences and symposia. Prior to teaching, Professor Mohapatra practiced health law in Chicago at Sidley & Austin and Foley & Lardner. She earned a J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law and has a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University. She earned a bachelor of arts in Natural Sciences (with a minor in Women's Studies) from Johns Hopkins University.