Research to improve knowledge on how pregnant women are affected by COVID-19

Pregnant woman
17 April 2020 | Research and clinical trials

Researchers from the Royal Women’s Hospital and Monash Health have spearheaded a national registry of pregnant women in Australia diagnosed with COVID-19.

The national registry, which 28 hospitals across Australia are currently signed up to, will give clinicians important insight into how mothers and babies are impacted by this virus. Insights from the registry will also be contributed to the global community to better understand COVID-19’s impacts.

Clinicians at each participating hospital are collecting data on women who test positive in their care and entering it into a secure database. Researchers will seek follow up data on each woman’s pregnancy and baby outcomes and report on the impact of the virus on the mother’s health, as well as any risks to the baby in the womb or after birth.

Dr Clare Whitehead from the Women’s and Dr Kirsten Palmer from Monash Health, with a team of collaborators, have launched the project - named CHOPAN (Coronavirus Health Outcomes in Pregnancy and Newborns).

Dr Whitehead said there is limited evidence on the impact of the novel coronavirus on mothers and babies – and this registry aims to improve that.

“We currently do not have a national platform that can collect information on pregnant women and report the information back to clinicians in a timely manner to help improvement the management of pregnant women and their babies,” says Dr Whitehead.

“We’ve been able to very quickly set this research up to capture as many pregnant women as possible during this pandemic. And our focus is set on informing clinicians on what is happening in Australia as the pandemic evolves. 

“We are working with international groups to contribute this knowledge to the global community to help improve our understanding of the disease in this important group.”