Dr Andrew Thomson provided insight into the introduction of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidelines. He stated that the process to revise the RCOG GBS guideline is now underway, "if the evidence was compelling that we needed to change the practice, then we could revise a guideline in one year or less." "The RCOG GBS guideline initially published in 2003 and revised in 2012 concluded that routine bacteriological screening of all pregnant women for antenatal GBS carriage is not recommended. So we grade our recommendations and this is given as a grade D recommendation and the evidence for that is given underneath and its evidence level 4. And you see what is that recommendation based [...]
Prof Neena Modi started the Q&A by asking what has been done to improve the evidence base in order to form the development of really robust guidelines. Prof Philip Steer responded that there was a need to improve the information about the impact of screening versus risk factors, but that it was highly unlikely that a screening RCT (randomised control trial) would be funded in the UK. This meant reliance on evidence from experts. This was followed by a discussion about the use of antibiotics, their potential to affect a mother's faecal flora and the potential impact on development of the neonatal immune system. There was also a discussion about how much the RCOG guidelines were actually being followed, and [...]
Prof Androulla Efstratiou spoke first about microbiological screening. Currently: Most units did not use a sensitive test to detect GBS carriage*. Risk factors recommended by RCOG to select women for antibiotics in labour were poor at predicting GBS carriage. Almost 1 in 5 women who had no known risk factors in fact carried GBS. Many GBS carriers were falsely given a negative result from a standard test. *Since the presentation, Prof Efstratiou has confirmed to us that the ECM test is not routinely available from PHE laboratories. "It is extremely important to have a very sensitive and also a Standardised Microbiological Screening Test. Currently Public Health England (PHE) offers a standard operating protocol called B58, and this is the UK Standard [...]
Dr Gopal Rao said that before the screening programme was put in place in late February 2014, the Trust had for several years experienced substantially higher levels of invasive GBS than the national rate: Approximately 5000 babies per year are born at Northwick Park Hospital Despite using a risk based IAP protocol, the invasive EOGBS rate was 0.88/1000 live births per year over the four years (2008-2012) twice the national rate (0.4/1000 live births) In 2013, the EOGBS rate was 1.65 per thousand live births; five out of the eight affected babies did not have maternal risk factors Between 2008-13, the LOGBS rate was 0.36/1000 and the maternal bacteraemia rate 0.95/1000. "Something is not working for us, [...]
All pregnant women should have Group B Streptococcus screening - The Wellington Educational Lecture: infections in obstetrics and gynaecology debate On 27 May at the Royal Society of Medicine, Professor Philip Steer gave a barnstorming speech setting out the case for group B Strep screening being offered to all pregnant women. This educational lecture, organised by the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, was attended by health professionals interested in obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as some of the team from Group B Strep Support. Prof Steer, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College London and Chair of Group B Strep Support's Medical Advisory Panel, was debating Dr Austin Ugwumadu, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. [...]
We have had a lot of people contacting us recently saying about the Men B vaccine - and yes, this is great news! Unfortunately, the Men B vaccine won't protect against group B Strep (GBS) and a vaccine against GBS is probably at least 10 years away from being available. It's easy to confuse the two - both have the letter B in their names, and both can cause meningitis! There are approximately 3,200 cases of meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia each year in the UK. Meningitis is a condition where bacteria get into the linings of the brain and cause infection and inflammation. Meningitis can be caused by a number of different bacteria (“germs”), two of which are Men B and GBS. Group [...]
"I am honoured to be a Volunteer Ambassador for GBSS. In my spare time I do what I can to support the charity to raise funds and awareness. I first became aware of Group B Strep Support after my daughter had spent her first few weeks in Neonatal Intensive Care with overwhelming sepsis caused by group B Strep. Thankfully, she recovered but I had lots of questions and once Emily was home and healthy I took to Google to try and find out more about what had made her so poorly. The GBSS website proved to be the most informative place to gather all the information I needed. It gave me the facts and figures, it provided answers as to [...]
Will Quince, MP for Colchester, and Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury bravely shared their personal stories of bereavement in an Adjournment Debate on Monday 2 November. If you are bereaved as a result of group B Strep, please do get in touch with us at 01444 416176 or email@example.com. We're here to help.
On Friday 30 October 2015 brave Mum Fiona Paddon was invited to ITN lunchtime news with Alastair Stewart. She put forward the case for testing brilliantly, including how she would try and convince the Prime Minister to help make the changes we want to see. To sign the petition she talks about, please visit here.
Doctor urges £11 test to save babies’ lives after coroner rules baby’s death from infection was ‘avoidable’
Supporters Fiona Paddon and Scott Bramley have featured in the London Evening Standard. Fiona's and Scott's only son, Edward Paddon Bramley, tragically died aged nine days after he contracted group B Strep infection at birth last year. Since then Fiona and Scott have campaigned tirelessly for change, setting up a Change.org petition calling for the Government to introduce tests for all pregnant women. The petition now has over 200,000 signatures.