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Mother Campaigns For Group B Strep Screening

Lincolnshire Mum Says Measure Will Save Lives


A mother is campaigning to have all pregnant women tested for the condition Group B Strep (GBS), after almost losing her newborn baby to it.

Kirsty Jeeves, 27, from Cranwell in Lincolnshire, saw her son Oliver spend nine days in intensive care at Lincoln County Hospital after developing the condition, the Lincolnshire Echo reports.

The illness could have been prevented with antibiotics if Kirsty had been screened for the infection, which some campaign groups say should be a standard part of antenatal care.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends a test for the presence of bacteria in urine in the early stages of pregnancy.

However, the UK National Screening Committee has not recommended GBS screening at 35 to 37 weeks, saying it would not help the majority of babies who die from early onset GBS, and could expose mother and baby to unnecessary antibiotic use.

A spokesman for Group B Strep Support said: "The best time to test is between 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy, but most pregnant women don't know about Group B Strep as they are not told about it by their healthcare professionals."

Expert Opinion
In our work we see first-hand the impact undiagnosed GBS can have on babies and their families. Newborns can be left severely brain damaged due to being starved of oxygen as the infection takes over their bodies, and in can be fatal in some cases.

“A simple test can be conducted to highlight whether and expectant mother is a carrier of the condition and her care plan can be adjusted to ensure intravenous antibiotics are provided throughout labour to prevent the infection being transmitted.

“We hope that cases such as this will further reinforce the need for testing to be routinely offered to expectant mothers to prevent further damage to unborn babies in the future.”
Julianne Moore, Partner

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