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Kansas City obstetricians agree that delta variant is more deadly to pregnant patients

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Experts warn that COVID-19 infections while pregnant put patients at a greater risk of maternal death, pre-term labor, stillbirth and miscarriages.

Experts, including a pregnant OB-GYN doctor, warn pregnant patients reluctant to get the COVID vaccination that there could be deadly consequences for both mother and child.

The CDC issued an emergency health alert recommending pregnant patients get vaccinated, and Kansas City OB-GYNs echo the urgency.

Maternal deaths have increased nearly 30% this year, according to Dr. Kevin Ault, an OB-GYN practitioner at the University of Kansas Health System.

"That's just the tip of the iceberg," Ault said, adding that severe fetal complications are also a risk.

"Most of the news is bad the more we learn about pregnancy and this particular virus," Ault said. "It seems like it gets worse every week."

St. Luke's OB-GYN Dr. Rebecca Hamel is in her third trimester and understands the concern patients have about getting vaccinated.

"But if you're worried about complications, vaccination is safer hands down than risking COVID-19 infection during pregnancy," Hamel said.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz