Group B Strep testing research in danger of being scrapped

baby and father holding hands

Important research into preventative testing for an infection that affects new-borns is in danger of being scrapped.

Is the UK falling behind Group B Strep testing?

Research into preventing Group B strep (GBS), an infection passed onto a new-born baby from mothers, is in danger of being scrapped.

Studies for a routine Group B Strep will require 80 hospitals across the country to sign up for the trials. However, campaigners are concerned that so far only 30 have agreed, ahead of the deadline at the end of September 2022.

Concerns have been raised as the UK is seen to be lagging behind when it comes to testing for the preventable infection. Countries like the US, and European nations like Spain and Germany, all conduct routine testing. This has led to noticeable reductions in infection rates.

In France for example, instances of GBS fell from 0.7 per 1,000 births to 0.2 per 1,000 births, between 1997 and 2006.

It is hoped that with routine testing of pregnant women, preventative action in the form of antibiotics can be given, to reduce the risk of infections in new-borns.

It is important to note however, that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) does not recommend routine testing, on the grounds that its effectiveness is still to be debated.

Group B Strep Awareness Month

Every year, the 1st of July marks the beginning of Group B Strep Awareness month. Running for over 20 years it aims to bring awareness of GBS to the public, and campaign for its treatment.

As part of the month, a conference on Group B strep will be taking place, bringing together doctors, researchers and policy makers to help increase awareness of the disease.

Get expert legal advice

Call today and speak to Zoe Diss, specialist birth injury solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500

Group B Strep (GBS): The Facts

Group B Strep is carried by around 1 in 4 women, so it is important to know the risks and consequences of this infection.

What is Group B Strep?

Group B Streptococcus (GBS), more commonly knowns as Group B Strep is a bacteria found in both men and women. It is found naturally in the digestive and reproductive areas.

Whilst relatively harmless to healthy adults, the bacteria can become an issue when giving birth. Around 1-2 babies a day can become infected with GBS from their mothers in the UK.

Types of GBS

  • Pre Natal onset GBS (Before Birth)
  • Early Onset GBS (From birth up to 6 days
  • Late onset GBS (7 days to around 3 months old)

At any stage of infection, it can cause severe complications

What are the effects of Group B Strep?

Infection of GBS occurs roughly once in every 1,750 pregnancies. As mentioned, roughly two babies in the UK develop the infection every day. Sadly, on average one of these babies will die, and another will survive, but not without complications.

A GBS infection can lead to sepsis, meningitis and can cause a baby to develop cerebral palsy.

Specialist Group B Strep Solicitors

Making a claim for Group B Strep compensation can be daunting. However, if your baby suffered adversely due to Group B Strep and you believe that negligence was a contributing factor then the advice from a specialist birth injury solicitor is imperative.

Your claim for compensation can also act as an important step in ensuring other parents and baby’s do not suffer from the same negligent care that you did.

Blackwater Law successfully represented the family of baby Blake in making a midwife negligence claim after the community midwife failed to notice a severe medical abnormality.

New-born baby in hospital

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