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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speir

Katie's brush with death

This is one of our patient's Katie Pedersen's Facebook post. The picture is after she was extubated and I think she looks AMAZING compared to just a few days earlier. Used with permission.

Unfortunately, we are seeing pregnant women affected even more with the Delta variant, likely due to it being more virulent.

I can't imagine how scary it was for Katie and her family. I know all of the doctors at PACWHA were pretty terrified. I am so thankful that the ICU was not busy at UCLA and they were able to transfer her and keep her pregnant. They brought an amazing team of nurses, technicians, and physicians and had ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation- basically a lung oxygenation machine- a form Life Support or dialysis for the lungs) that literally saved her life. I know people are scared of the vaccine, but really we should be scared of the real virus more. To quote my favorite musical - Don't throw away your shot.

If you do get COVID, have any symptoms and are pregnant-- please call us! Pregnant women now qualify for monoclonal antibodies. This is a 20 minute infusion of antibodies also known as "BAM" or Bamlanivimab, the idea is it can help neutralize copies of the virus while your immune system ramps up the normal response to the virus. This is done in the ER, ideally we would let them know you are coming. Depending on your gestational age (>24 weeks) fetal monitoring may also be done.

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