01 July 2015
July is Group B Streptococcus Awareness Month
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are proud to support the Group B Streptococcus Support Group (GBSS).
The GBSS is an independent UK charity formed to help prevent avoidable life-threatening Group B Strep infections in newborn babies.
The charity campaign tirelessly to ensure all women are routinely given accurate information about group B Streptococcus (group B Strep or GBS) during their antenatal care.
Group B Streptococcus is one of many naturally occurring bacterium found inside the gut and genital tract. Although it is easily preventable, it is the UK’s most common cause of severe bacterial infection in newborn babies and of meningitis in babies under three months.
Between 20-30% of healthy adult women carry GBS in their intestines without symptoms and a quarter of women of childbearing age carry GBS in their vaginas at any one time.
The bacterium is easily recognised with screening during pregnancy and, once identified, can be treated with antibiotics.
Although usually harmless, GBS can be passed from mother to baby during birth. The vast majority of babies do not develop the infection but, if the bacterium is not identified and then passed to the foetus, there is a chance the baby may go on to develop breathing problems, heart and blood pressure instability, and gastrointestinal and kidney problems. In some cases, the infection can also lead to sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis.
Monitoring and observation are key to diagnosis and GBSS support the push for a more consistent routine screening throughout the NHS.
The charity aims for all low-risk women to be offered GBS screening ideally between 35-37 weeks of pregnancy.
Importantly, the Group also campaign for a change to the current NICE guidelines to ensure that every higher-risk woman is offered antibiotics during labour.
July is National Group B Strep awareness month. For more information and to see what you can do to support this cause, please visit the Group B Strep Support Group website.
Christian Beadell is a Senior Associate Solicitor specialising in Clinical Negligence Claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Liverpool and a panel solicitor for the Group B Strep Support Group.
At Slater and Gordon Lawyers we specialise in medical negligence claims and have particular experience of dealing with medical complications arising from urogynaecological treatment.
If you have any concerns about medical treatment received by yourself or a loved one, please call us for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.