(Closed) Woman on life support due to flu while 20 wks pregnant

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 77
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

That is so sad Cry. I’m curious how often pregnant women die from not having the flu shot and catching the flu. I’ve never had a flu shot, and never had the flu. It drives my dad (Doctor) crazy that I won’t get the shot. Well dad, I’ve never had the flu so no thanks. I don’t plan on getting one while pregnant either (the horror). But, as a previous poster said, it’s 65% effective, and even if you get it sadly you can still catch the flu get sick etc…  I’m not against vaccines whatsoever btw.

Post # 79
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

@Christy42213:  you… Didn’t? The while H1N1 (swine flu) and bird flu epidemics in the news over the last 10 years just flew under your radar?

Post # 80
1805 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@ashleycan86:  Yup, I’ve never had one and the only time I caught it was back when I was around 13. I know what you mean when you say, “being pregnant makes me want to have something foreign injected into my body even less.” I had a little cold right after Christmas (I had been traveling and I’m sure the airport was full of germs) and I fought it off naturally too!

Post # 81
3339 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

@cherrypie:  I didn’t think we were talking about H1N1 or bird flu.  I thought this was caused by the regular old flu that people get every year.  I am shocked to learn that she’s on life support because of that.  It seems to me like there must have been something else going on too, like an additional complication that was brought on by the flu.

Post # 82
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

@Christy42213:  Something about one or more of the strains affecting general (not just at-risk) populations this year seems to be particularly vicious to the respiratory system. Every year we see some fatalities in young, elderly, or immunocompromised populations (incl pregnant women or miscarried babies), but this year healthy, able-bodied people are being hospitalized and dying from respiratory complications like collapsed lungs or simply becoming comatose and losing respiratory function. At least three people I know have a relative or friend in the intensive care, which has never happened before.

As PP’s have said, a lot of people mistake bad colds or norovirus (24 hr or stomach “flu”) for influenza, which is really a much more serious illness.


Also worth noting is that a big bad part of the flu for pregnant women is the fever, which in general is NBD– but a core temp elevated by one degree or more for sustained periods can be quite bad for the fetus. Also why we are told to stay out of hot tubs for exposure longer than 10 mins.  Even though your body can fight off the flu without you or the baby dying, a fever is a bad thing to have for days while pregnant– and, if you ask me, the main reason to protect yourself by getting the flu shot. You’re not *likely* to keel over and die or spontaneously miscarry if you get the flu while pregnant… You’re more likely to just recover. BUT that doesn’t mean it’s all hunky-dory because fevers and inflammation are a whole other bag of suck for baby. Just something to keep in mind.


Post # 83
10649 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011


How many people get sick or die from the flu every year?

Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. It is estimated that, on average, approximately 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.



I wouldn’t be surprised if it is H1N1, as that’s the cause of most of the flu illnesses this year, but H1N1 is considered one of the typical seasonal strains now.

Post # 84
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Christy42213:  H1N1 is just another strain of influenza. Which is circulating again this year. 

For all those people/women who are not vaccinating, you are playing Russian roulette. We are talking about science here, not anecdotes or speculation. Pregnant women in particular are at risk, not just for “getting a flu/bug/cold” but of serious harm or death for themselves or their fetus. Having an immune system that “naturally” fought off something going around doesn’t mean you have a super buff awesome immune system. Nor does not having the flu before make any sense as even a comment. Killed vaccines, like flu, work much like a bloodhound. You train the immune system to recognize it so it has something to search for, significantly decreasing the impact if you are exposed to live influenza in vivo.

How many stories like this one do we have to hear before people are convinced that the earth is round, gravity is real, the earth orbits the sun, and vaccines are safe and effective?

FWIW, I went to employee health and got my flu vaccine on day 1 it was offered. And I’m enforcing a “grandma and grandpa get their pertussis boosters” prior to baby’s arrival. I practice what I preach because I’ve seen the alternatives. Dead moms. Dead babies. 

Post # 85
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

@drlolaz:  x1000


My husband (an ARNP) likened the flu vaccine to a bullet proof vest made to protect against the type of bullets most commonly used. Even if it only protected against 65% of bullets fully, and another few types of bullets partially, would you still rather not wear it in the trenches? Would you rather say, “oh, I’ll just try my hardest to avoid the bullets myself?” As part of an at-risk population, that’s what you are effectively doing. 

That isn’t directed to anyone who has severe medical contraindications against the vaccine and can’t take it… But I still see a lot of blatant ignorance and naive optimism thrown around whenever this topic comes up. “Hope for the best” isn’t a disaster plan, people. And, look, I’m all about taking calculated risks and not spending pregnancy panicked and paranoid, but c’mon. This? I feel pretty strongly about given the data that’s available.

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