Key points

  • Pregnant women are especially susceptible to respiratory pathogens due to the physiological changes of pregnancy as well as being more vulnerable to secondary bacterial pneumonias.
  • Vertical transmission to the fetus is uncommon.
  • Where possible, early epidural analgesia should be recommended to women in labour with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019, but ensure platelet count is checked due to increased risk of thrombocytopenia.
  • Avoid general anaesthesia unless absolutely necessary for standard indications.
  • Donning ‘airborne-precaution’ personal protective equipment should be considered for emergency cases because of the risk of failed neuraxial block and the consequent need for conversion to general anaesthesia and intubation (an aerosol-generating procedure).


This work by WFSA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivitives 4.0 International License. To view this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Cite as

Daykin, H. & Moore, J. 2021, 'Anaesthetic Management of Pregnant Patients With COVID-19', Obstetric Anaesthesia, article no: Tutorial 432. https://aura.abdn.ac.uk/handle/2164/15745

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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