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So far Oliver Plumb has created 136 blog entries.

Irwin Mitchell Joins Group B Strep Support’s Legal Panel

National charity Group B Strep Support and leading law firm, Irwin Mitchell, are delighted to announce their new corporate partnership to raise greater awareness of group B Strep, and provide support to families affected by it. Group B Strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, causing meningitis, sepsis or pneumonia in more than 700 babies a year in the UK. On average, two babies a day develop group B Strep infection, one baby a week dies from group B Strep infection and another survives with life-changing disability. Although home testing kits are available to buy for £40, Irwin Mitchell has been backing calls from Group B Strep Support to make the ‘gold standard’  test [...]

My little boy had late-onset GBS infection

I had the GBS screening during pregnancy and tested negative (Mum lives in Australia where GBS screening is routine in 5 of the 6 states). I then had a hugely traumatic birth. 48-hour labour forceps delivery and my baby ended up with 2 skull fractures and intracranial bleeding, which he fully recovered from. I thought after getting him home from the children's hospital everything would be fine… how wrong I was. At 25 days’ old my baby began to cry inconsolably. After 3 hours, we knew something was very wrong. At the hospital, they suspected meningitis. His entire face and neck swelled up and he was failing right in front of us. I was so scared that we would [...]

Biotech company MinervaX announces positive results from Phase 1 GBS vaccine trials

MinervaX, a privately held Danish biotech company, today (5th January) announced positive results from a Phase I trial in 240 healthy adult women with its protein-only GBS vaccine, targeting pregnant women for the prevention of life-threatening infections in newborns. “We are delighted that MinervaX is developing a group B Strep vaccine. Group B Strep is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies and of meningitis in babies under 3 months, although most of these infections could be prevented. Despite the UK’s risk-based prevention strategy, the rates of these infections have increased for more than a decade. A safe and effective vaccine is the ‘holy grail’ of GBS prevention and could protect more babies from GBS [...]

New partnership with HiberGene Diagnostics

Group B Strep Support is delighted to announce a partnership with healthcare company HiberGene Diagnostics to help pregnant women to test for group B Strep – the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies. One in four pregnant women is unknowingly carrying group B Strep bacteria, which causes meningitis, sepsis or pneumonia in more than 500 newborn babies a year. On average, one newborn baby a week dies from group B Strep infection. Testing for Group B Streptococcus (group B Strep or GBS) is not routinely available through the NHS, unlike countries such as the USA, France, Germany, Poland and many others. HiberGene Diagnostics’ test for GBS is called Strepelle and uses the international ‘gold standard’ Enriched [...]

Looking back on 2016

As we pause between the Christmas and New Year holidays, it's a great time to take a minute to look back on 2016 and to thank everyone who helped make it such an amazing year. Why Guess? Campaign Parliamentary Launch On 30 November, we were delighted to kick-start our Why Guess ... when you can test? campaign with a parliamentary launch held at Portcullis House, Westminster. A sincere thank you to everyone who has written to their MP about improving awareness and prevention of group B Strep. It really does make a difference. MPs were keen to get involved, and we'll be keeping you updated as the campaign progresses. Earlier in the year, our patron, Sir Nicholas Soames [...]

Helpline at Christmas

Our Helpline (01444 416176 or info@gbss.org.uk) is open: Friday, 23rd December - 9:15am to 3.00pm Wednesday, 28th December - 9:15am to 3.00pm Thursday, 29th December - 9.15am to 3.00pm Friday, 30th December - 9.15am to 3.00pm Tuesday, 3rd January - 9.15am to 3.00pm The Helpline is closed on 26-27 December and 2nd January.  

“Why doesn’t Group B Strep Support pay for ECM tests?”

We are sometimes asked if we provide grants towards part or all of the cost of the private enriched culture medium (ECM) test for group B Strep carriage. This isn't something we do, or are currently planning to do. We thought we'd share how we reached our current position. It’s something we have discussed since the charity’s founding in 1996. The Board of Trustees, along with the charity's Chief Executive and staff, have all had the opportunity to share their views on the issue. Our concerns about using the charity's funds to pay for tests can be broken down into three main areas. Improving care for everyone We believe that as a routine part of antenatal care in the NHS, all pregnant women should be informed about [...]

Baby Loss Awareness 9 – 15 October

Baby Loss Awareness Week is dedicated to those who have been touched by the loss of a baby during pregnancy, birth or after birth. During the week of the 9 to 15 October, people are uniting across the UK to show their support for one another. Bereaved parents can commemorate their babies’ all-too-brief lives, knowing that thousands of parents elsewhere in the world will be doing the same.  The week also provides a crucial opportunity for people to talk openly about the sensitive subject of stillbirth and neonatal death and raise awareness of baby loss. Wave of Light - 7pm local time on 15 October Baby Loss Awareness Week finishes each year on October 15 with a global 'Wave of Light' We would like to [...]

New possibilities for future prevention of group B Strep infection in babies

New research, published in Clinical & Translational Immunology, suggest that certain a certain type of sugar - oligosaccharides - found in human milk (HMOs or Human Milk Oligosaccharides) may have a role in the prevention and clearance of maternal GBS colonisation during pregnancy. As the authors say: "Once additional studies have been undertaken to validate these results, and definitively identify the HMO(s) involved in protection against GBS disease, a clinical application could be to use HMOs as a potential adjuvant to antibiotics for the treatment of GBS colonisation." Interesting findings indeed (you can read the full research paper here) which could, potentially, be used in the future to reduce GBS infection in babies - but it's a small trial, and more research will be [...]

Joining a Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) by Guest Kim Poulton

Group B Strep is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, and the charity Group B Strep Support is very close to my heart. I found out I carried group B Strep after my daughter was sadly stillborn at full term plus 9 days. My precious daughter, Faith, was stillborn on 23rd October 2015. Within an hour of arriving at the hospital excited to have our fourth and last child to complete our family, I was holding my dead baby in my arms. My pregnancy with Faith had been normal and healthy, and I have three perfectly healthy children. Tests showed I was heavily colonised with group B Strep, as was my urine, placenta, and Faith’s swabs. [...]