Group B Strep is a leading cause of neonatal death according to MBRRACE
Group B Strep is the leading identified infectious case of stillbirth and neonatal death in the UK, confirmed by a perinatal mortality surveillance report from October 2022 by MBRRACE-UK.
31 January 2023
MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audit and Confidential Enquiries) is a national audit programme that is commissioned by all UK governments to collect information about all late foetal losses, stillbirths, neonatal deaths and maternal deaths across the UK.
The report covered the period from January through to December 2020. Although rates of stillbirth and neonatal death had fallen by 20% in the UK, the report found when compared with data from 2013, the stillbirth rate caused by Group B Strep, (GBS) was 0.01 per 1000 total births.
It’s sadly likely that at least some of these deaths would have been preventable, therefore it’s essential that strategies and policies are developed and implemented to prevent stillbirth and neonatal death caused by GBS.
Testing is key to reducing stillbirth and neonatal death caused by GBS. Carrying GBS has no symptoms, so testing is the only way to find out if a person is carrying the bacteria. Unfortunately, tests are not currently routinely offered for GBS on the NHS. It is fundamental that testing forms part of any strategy and policy aimed at reducing these levels.
are doing invaluable work to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of Group B Strep. Widespread screening and ensuring medical staff are aware of the warning signs they should consider for patients with a history of Group B Strep are vital to ensure safety of newborn babies. Introducing these measures will hopefully prevent further heart-breaking cases of stillbirth and neonatal death.
If you or your baby has been affected by GBS infection and you believe that the care/treatment that you received from your medical professionals may have been substandard, please contact Laura Preston on . Laura is a medical negligence expert with a special interest in GBS cases and sits on the GBSS legal expert panel.