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Birmingham Women's Hospital offering new screening for expectant mothers

View profile for Carla Duprey
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Midwife struck off for looking up confidential medical records

Birmingham Women’s Hospital are the first hospital to offer Group B Streptococcus (GBS) screening to mothers, as part of a national research trial (GBS3 trial). The purpose of the trial is to look to develop a new GBS swab to help to prevent newborns developing an infection from this bacteria.

GBS is a common bacterial infection, which affects up to 4 in 10 women. In most cases, the bacteria is harmless, but it can be fatal for newborns if their mother has this infection and it is not treated with antibiotics in labour. It is estimated that GBS causes 150,000 preventable stillbirths every year.

The Principal Investigator for the GBS3 trial, Phern Adams, has stated that, “By offering the information at 28 weeks, all women under our Women’s Hospital services, receiving antenatal care and delivering at our hospital will be given the essential knowledge in advance by their clinical care team so that they have time to make their decision for treatment…This will also streamline the process of GBS testing for our clinical colleagues and ensure all women are offered time to consider testing, at approximately 36 weeks.”

I hope that this trial will raise awareness of the potential complications of GBS and that the swab will become available throughout Hospitals in the UK.

It is also the Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) Awareness month in June. This month is a ‘dedicated time to raise awareness and provide support for families who have experienced the loss of a baby through stillbirth or neonatal death. The campaign aims to break the silence surrounding these devastating losses, promote understanding, and improve bereavement care and support services’.

Lots of information is now available regarding stillbirths, but it is often a topic that is not openly discussed. If you have lost a baby through stillbirth or neonatal death, then please reach out to Sands or any other support organisation (list below), so that you can have access to any resources and support you need.

UK support organisations

  1. Sands - stillbirth and neonatal death charity
  2. The Miscarriage Association
  3. Tommy's
  4. The Lullaby Trust (For babies lost to cot death)
  5. Aching Arms
  6. Child Bereavement UK
  7. Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC)
  8. Child Death Helpline
  9. Cruse Bereavement Support

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of a medical or health professional, including injury due to stillbirth or neonatal death, then we may be able to help you pursue a claim for compensation. Our leading team of experts are on hand to offer advice, so please get in touch with us on 0161 696 6165 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.