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JoJo

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 11:18am

Group B Strep

Ive just been informed i have GBS and have to have antibiotics for it.. from the info i have been sent i will probably have to have iv antibiotics during labour too... If i hadnt had that scare a couple of weeks ago I would never have known...

has everyone signed the petition on the old site? it was the one about routine tests for all pg women?
Jo
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Flossy

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 11:23am

Sorry Jo, what is GBS?

JoJo

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 11:24am

GBS

Ive just found this post on the old site so ive copied it over...

Originally posted by gbsbaby

And for those of you who don't know about GBS, which included me in my last pregnancy...

MY STORY...
Two years ago our first baby was diagnosed with meningitis at only 18 hours old. The first time we'd ever heard of Group B Strep (GBS) was in Group B Strep Support leaflet handed to us by the midwife when our newborn daughter was on a ventilator fighting for her life in intensive care. Isabel survived, but the infection caused permanent brain damage leaving her blind with severe cerebral palsy. At 2 years of age she cannot roll, sit, crawl, stand, walk or even hold her own toys. To read in this leaflet that not only could I have been tested for GBS in the last month of pregnancy but, as an identified GBS carrier, that intravenous antibiotics during labour might have reduced the severity or even prevented her infection was, and remains, simply devastating.

WHAT IS GROUP B STREP?
Most of us have not heard of Group B Streptococcus (also known as GBS, Group B Strep, Beta Strep, Beta Haemolytic Strep, Strep B and streptococcus agalactiae), yet it is a common type of bacteria carried by about one third of us without us usually knowing.

Occasionally, however, GBS causes life threatening infections in 1 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK. Each year, 700 babies develop GBS infections (Septicaemia, Pneumonia, or Meningitis, 100 of these babies die, and 20 babies suffer long-term mental and/or physical handicaps, from mild learning disabilities to severe mental retardation, loss of sight, loss of hearing and lung damage. GBS is also a recognised cause of preterm delivery, maternal infections, stillbirths and late miscarriages.

BUT GBS CAN BE TESTED FOR AND INFECTIONS PREVENTED IN MOST CASES. Testing for GBS saves lives!

HOW DO I KNOW IF I CARRY GBS?
GBS does not make you feel unwell and there are no symptoms (there is no smelly discharge as some midwives claim). The only way to find out if you carry the GBS bacteria is to be tested for it.

The GBS test sometimes used by the NHS (often called an HVS) is not reliable. It gives a false negative result half the time when it should be positive (it says you don't carry GBS when you do!), although if you get a positive result from the HVS test this is accurate.

There is a more reliable test, Enriched Culture Method (ECM) test, but it is only available privately at present. The test is simply a swab and is sent by post to the lab, so you can test anywhere in the UK. It costs £28 and results take 3 working days. Many busy health professionals do not yet know of this new (May 2003) more reliable test yet. So if you need more details go to "How Can I Get an ECM Test" on the Group B Strep Support website www.gbss.org.uk or from The Doctors Laboratory website http://www.tdlpathology.com/testinfo/lt_GBS.htm.

The best time to do the ECM test is between 35-37 weeks. This is because the GBS bacteria comes and goes in your body. Any earlier, you might test negative only to have the bacteria come back nearer your due date. Any later and you might give birth before the result is back!

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR GBS?
A positive test for GBS means the GBS bacteria was present as the swab was taken - NOT that you or your baby will become ill. Roughly 230,000 babies are born each year to women who carry GBS and, of these, only 700 develop GBS infection. Carrying GBS is perfectly natural and normal - it just that you should be offered intravenous antibiotics as soon as you go into labour or when your waters break, and then 4-hourly until delivery. Oral antibiotics against GBS carriage are NOT effective. A detailed leaflet "For Women Who Carry GBS" can be downloaded from The Group B Strep Support website for you to hand to your midwife and/or obstetrician.

If you test positive for GBS and are having a Caesarean you ONLY need to be offered intravenous antibiotics against GBS infection in your baby if you are also in labour or your waters have broken.

WHAT IF I TEST NEGATIVE?
Research shows that a negative ECM result from a test done at 35-37 weeks of pregnancy is 96% predictive of your still not carrying GBS 5 weeks later, which means there's only a 4% chance that you will acquire GBS carriage over that time. So you do not need to be offered intravenous antibiotics this time, although you should take the test again in future pregnancies because, since GBS carriage can come and go, you may be carrying GBS in a future pregnancy.

WHAT IF I CAN'T BE TESTED?
Testing is not essential. If you have not managed to be tested (or the result is not available), or the less reliable NHS test has come back negative you should discuss with your midwife or obstetrician about your birth plan and being offered intravenous antibiotics if certain circumstances or 'risk factors' occur during your labour. These risk factors (you go into labour or waters break before 37 weeks, your waters break and 12 hours later you still haven't delivered, or a raised temperature) are explained in the short "GBS & Pregnancy 2 page summary" and more detailed "GBS: The Facts" can be downloaded from The Group B Strep Support website for you to hand to your midwife and/or obstetrician.

IF GBS IS SO RARE, WHY SHOULD I BE TESTED?
Many midwives, doctors, and obstetricians will tell you there is no need to have a test for GBS as it is so rare. Serious GBS infections in newborns are very rare, but testing for GBS will make the chances of your baby being affected even more unlikely IF you find out you are a carrier BEFORE you give birth. More important than how rare GBS infections are is the fact that they are largely preventable!

Pregnant women are routinely tested for several rare conditions - HIV, syphilis, spina bifida, Hepatitis B. You are not being paranoid asking for a test - just taking precautions for the healthy delivery of your baby. Not testing for GBS currently contributes to 120 babies dying or being disabled each year. Around 90 of which might have fully recovered had their mothers been tested for GBS in late pregnancy and given intravenous antibiotics before birth. As there is a simple, cheap test (that doesn't cost the NHS a penny) that can prevent GBS infections why not take it? GBS testing is routine in Germany, France, Belgium, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

AND IN MY NEXT PREGNANCY?
If you test positive for GBS in this pregnancy, this does not necessarily mean you will carry GBS in any subsequent pregnancy. If possible you should be offered an ECM test at 35-37 weeks of pregnancy to establish whether you are still carrying GBS. If you are, then you should be offered intravenous antibiotics as soon as possible once labour has started.

If a reliable ECM test result is not available and labour starts after 37 weeks of pregnancy, then your previous GBS carriage status should be treated as an additional risk factor (increasing the risk of a baby developing GBS infection from an estimated 1 in 1,000 in the general population, to an estimated risk of approximately 1 in 500 for a woman whose current GBS status is unknown, but where GBS was isolated prior to the current pregnancy). Group B Strep Support's medical advisory panel's view is that 'previous carrier' status alone is insufficient to recommend offering intravenous antibiotics in labour against GBS infection in the baby, unless another risk factor is also present.

AND PLEASE TRY NOT TO WORRY
Reading about the worst effects of GBS can be pretty worrying. PLEASE remember that GBS is just one of a number of types of bacteria which normally live in our bodies and most babies are not affected by exposure to them. In the UK, approximately 700,000 babies are born each year, of these, 230,000 to mothers who carry GBS and, of which only 700 develop GBS infection. If you are found to carry GBS, this is perfectly natural and normal - you should just take the best possible protection for your baby, should they be susceptible, by having intravenous antibiotics during labour and delivery

I don't want to frighten anyone, just reach the parents of that 1 in 1000 baby and spare them the heartbreak we went through with our baby daughter. I would gladly have paid £28 for her not to be disabled
-----

Flossy

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 11:31am

I've just read your other post. I had never heard of it. If I'm lucky enough to get PG, I think £28 would be the least of my worries! I think the test should be standard.

JoJo

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 11:34am

Group B Streptococcus.. its an infection that some women carry but if its not detected and treated, it can really harm the baby at birth.
Jo

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 1:02pm

jo, i think i read a story in a mag about a preg lady who couldnt be tested for it as it costed £30 (i think) and the nhs wouldnt fund it-her baby unfortunatly died. i think i did sign the petition, is there a way another one could be done?

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 1:36pm

hiya jojo,

i think that was a really sensible thing for you to put on this forum as i have been given a leaflet etc from hospital and although my hospital do test for this - i would never have known what a devastating effect it can have and how easy it might be prevented or helped.At least now we can ask more questions or understand a bit more about what happens - so thank you.

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 2:23pm

Hi JoJo
Thankyou for sharing this with us. I personally had never heard about it before as this is my 1st pregnancy, but i certainly will look into being tested in later pregnancy.
Its so sad to know that a simple test could have prevented devasting illness for a child.. Once again thankyou.


Ollx

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "frostie" (Oct 14th 2005, 3:36pm)


JoJo

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 2:58pm

click on this link and it will bring the option to sign the petition

www.gbss.org.uk

jo
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JoJo

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Friday, October 14th 2005, 3:05pm

This post was originally posted on the old forum.. by gbsbaby. But i felt that we needed this info on here.. I will include the link to the website so you can click onto it and find out more info.. also please sign the petition its in all our interests..
jo
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Friday, October 14th 2005, 11:40pm

i know two new mums who have experienced this. for the cost of thirty pounds you can find out if you need antibiotics through labour, as is standard practise in the states. it is unlikely even if you have the infection that it would happen, but having met two mothers who have had two VERY different outcomes, both of which were extremely traumatic in terms of menigitis etc, just have the test. insist. and if they won't do it for you through the nhs INSIST your gp does or contact the GBS organisations for advice.
this is not a scare tactic because it is very rare and unlikely, but even so if it is entirely preventable with a blood test and antibiotics, why take the risk?

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 1:33pm

I would agree with the above and urge everyone to have the test - a friend of mine found out she had group B strep after giving birth to her second child - her little boy seemed perfectly healthy for the first 24 hours and then within 1 hour was hooked up to all sorts of machines fighting for his life - my friend and her husband were actually told at one point that he may not survive the night. Thankfully Charlie recovered and will be 1 at the end of the month but my friend and her husband are still unsure as to whether there will be any long term health/ physical effects for their little boy - he appears to be ok at the moment but until he is a little older no-one really knows.

I will definitely be taking the test.

Elaine
x

JoJo

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 1:55pm

Before i found out I had this i had looked into the test and had decided to pay for one anyway. as it happens i was tested as a result of something else.. but imagine what could have happened if i hadnt found out i had it... It should be tested for as a matter of course not just because we are willing to pay for it!!
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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 1:57pm

have been on to site today and signed petition - definitely agree with every pregnant woman being tested.

Jo - will they test you again in a few weeks to make sure you still have strep B or give you the antibiotics anyway?

Elaine
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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 2:08pm

Don't things happen for a reason sometimes, luckily you got tested and they can give you the abx. xx

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 2:37pm

Hi Jo

I found out I was a carrier too. I didn't even know they were testing for it, but on one of my (many) internals they did a swab for thrush, and apparently did the GBS one at the same time.

My friend found out she had it after her labour, but is allergic to antibiotics, so was really poorly. She ended up in hospital for 2 weeks and was unable to breastfeed becasue of it. Luckily the baby was OK after close monitoring for a few days. So we were going to have the private test done anyway, after knowing she went through this.

Obviously its not nice to have it, but given that you do have it, its so much better to know - it might not be nice but at least the IV antibiotics should really reduce the risk.

I've got flourescent stickers all over my maternity notes that say I am a carrier, so my hospital are treating it seriously. Have you found out what yours are going to do for you yet?

The website you mentioned is really good, and there was a lady on the old site (gbsbaby) who posted some really helpful stuff too.

Hopefully if more people sign the petition then it will become a routine test - over a third of women are carriers which is a scarily high number.

Good luck
Bookworm

JoJo

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 2:48pm

going to see the midwife on thursday and then thursday night i have parentcraft classes so i will get as much info as i can then.. from what information they have given me so far, i will be in my own room with my own toilet facilities and also will have the iv drip whilst in labour...

So do you know if you can still breastfeed if you have this?
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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 2:54pm

Jo,

My friend certainly breastfed her son although she didn't know she had strep B until after he was born so didn't have the antibiotics - he was very poorly but she expressed to begin with to keep the milk flowing and he was fed her breastmilk through a tube and then she breastfed him when he was out of danger.

Elaine
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JoJo

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 2:56pm

thanks. thats reassured me.. that was something i was worrying about..

jo

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 3:09pm

Jo

I think breastfeeding is OK - my friend couldn't do it because she was so ill herself and hooked up to all sorts of drips, so I assume it then wasn't safe or practical for her to breastfeed. She didn't know she had GBS. The usual treatment for GBS is penicillin, which she is allergic to.

Her baby is now fine, on bottles and very big for his age!

Nobody has told me anything about not being able to breastfeed, and I'm sure they would have as they have known I'm a carrier for about 6 weeks and I have seen a few midwives since then.

All they have told me is to go in as soon as possible so I can get hooked up to the IV drip. It does stop you moving about a bit, but doesn't confine you to bed. You can still have a bath, apparently but waterbirths are a no no.

Bookworm

JoJo

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 4:08pm

so normally you have to wait dont you untill contractions are so far apart. but because of this it might mean going in alot earlier?
jo

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Saturday, October 15th 2005, 4:13pm

Excellent post, some good advice. I had heard of GBS recently on the news and asked my midwife about it. In Ashford we have to ask for the test, I don't think they offer it. I didn't know about the other test so will definately cough up £30 for one. M/W said to test as late as possible as reults can change.

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Sunday, October 16th 2005, 3:04pm

In the information leaflet that most hospitals or midwives have, it states that if you have been found to have GBS in your current pregnancy you are at risk and need to be offered IV antibiotics. It doesn't matter if it then goes away.

However the result may change the other way, i.e. you test negative and then positive later on, so that's why they say to test between 35-37 weeks.

The NHS test is much more likely to give a false negative reading (i.e. show you are clear of GBS when you do in fact have it) than the private test, so personally I would always choose that option anyway.

I find it extremely scary it isn't tested for as a matter of routine given that over a third of women carry it. The test should be done as a matter of course in your antenatel care.

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Sunday, October 16th 2005, 8:28pm

here here girls.
so wrong that it is another case of patients fighting for their own rights, I support gbs baby who posts on here in her mission for national standards changing. her beautiful daughter has cerebral palsy thanks to a lack of testing.

JoJo

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Friday, October 21st 2005, 7:45am

I went for my midwife appointment yesterday so i asked about it.
My doctors are such a joke sometimes.. they have prescribed me oral antibiotics. when i told the midwife about it, she told me that i shouldnt be taking anti biotics now as it will do no good at all. its just the iv antibiotics in labour that are needed. she also told me about what will happen when the baby is born, they will take swabs from the baby and the cord to check for infection and treat if needed. but also we will then be in a private room, which i would prefare anyway..
jo

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Friday, October 21st 2005, 11:24am

Some doctors will give out antibiotics at the drop of a hat, one doctor at my GPs practice would hand them out for a cold, but I read the easiest and most effective way to build up resistance to a cold is to let your body fight it, once you've had it your body provides the relevant cells to attack it and builds it resistance. The parcetamol and over the counter remedys are just symptom relief.

Its stupid, they've already been on the news moaning that viruses are now becoming resistant to antibiotics as we use them that much (wimps that we are!!) and they are turning into superbugs - hence MRSA!

xxx

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Friday, October 21st 2005, 11:29am

dont forget the new super super one! is it VRSA?

but dont forget that its not alwaysthe staff at hospitals that are spreading the germs! when I used to be a student nurse I was constantly washing my hands!

but the amount of patients who dont wash their hand after going the loo, or who walk around with no slippers on! etc.

and doctors!!! grr... dont get me started on them!!

Jessica x x

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Friday, October 21st 2005, 3:10pm

Just shows the difference around the country (re antibiotics). I have asked at least 5 medical staff (midwifes and doctors) about the need fro antibiotics now I have found out I'm a GBS carrier and they have all told me I dont need them now, but do need them IV during labour.

My GP's also wont prescribe them for most things - I have never had them in the last 6 years (apart from getting them from the dentist!).

Jo - interesting about the private room - I didn't know that, so I will ask next time I go to see if they will do the same for me (hope so!).

Cheers
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Thursday, November 10th 2005, 8:23pm

Hi ladies
Just popped on to see how everyones going and noticed this thread. Thought I'd add what I awas told as I am a carrier too. Basically they used IV antibiotics when I went into labour, then the babies were also given antibiotics for a few days until their tests came back clear to say they didn't have GBS. Think people get scared as sometimes you're a carrier and don't know, but I guess now hospitals are so hot on it they know what to look out for. Useful to read above post for sure as I remember panicking when I found out I was a carrier. Another point to remember is you don't need IV antibiotics apparently if you're having a planned section, just if you go into labour naturally.
Apologies if I've repeated anything said above!

xx

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Friday, November 11th 2005, 8:30am

With regard to hospital I took antibacterial wipes in for the toilet seat and my own milton gel for my hands afterwards.... just a thought......

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Friday, December 29th 2006, 9:07am

Strep B?

Is anyone else having the Strep B blood test? I keep reading more and more about it and I'm wondering about paying to get it done ?(

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Friday, December 29th 2006, 9:14am

Have a look at this thread

GBS

KIRSTY G

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Friday, December 29th 2006, 9:20am

I have GBS ...
When I had my ectopic they routinely tested me for this (It's got nothing to do with the ectopic) and confirmed I am a carrier ... I was told nothing about it, but given a one page leaflet, which I didn't read for months as I forgot all about it in the months after losing the baby ... all the leaflet says is that they will give you an IV drip of antibiotics during labour (which they must start as soon as possible after the onset of labour) ... and this should reduce the risk of infecting the baby.
I've just found out i'm pregnant and will talk to my midwife when my care gets released to one.

Kirsty
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Friday, December 29th 2006, 9:24am

Thanks Diddle

I'm definitely going to mention this at my next appointment - £32 is definitely worth finding out for piece of mind x

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Giggles" (Dec 29th 2006, 9:26am)


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Friday, December 29th 2006, 12:08pm

I found out I had strep B early on in pg it can be very serious for your little one when you are delivering. As soon as I went in to labour I had to phone the M unit and go in as they pump anti b in while your in labour (hopefully 3 lots) I was induced so they did it then, I was in labour for 16 hours so they managed the 3 lots. If you don't manage to get there in time to get some anti b's then they would give them to baby.

I also had to stay in hospital for 48 hours after to watch out for signs, I wasn't able to pick lib up until a midwife had come and took her temperature, this included when she needed a feed and a nappy change as well as a plain old cuddle.

I would def pay the £32 to have it checked out. Not worth the risks. I think it should be routine.

Jox

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Friday, December 29th 2006, 12:13pm

It makes me wonder if I had this when my son was born. No checks during pg, and I had a normal vaginal delivery ... we were home 8 hours later. Can't bear to think what may have been...

I'm not sure if it's even in my notes cos I moved about 2 weeks after the ectopic and have moved a couple of time since then ... But, i'll be sure to mention it to my doc...

Kirsty
xxx

JoJo

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Friday, December 29th 2006, 5:51pm

its definatley worth the £32 for the check. i found out i had this whilst pg as had a smal bleed and they checked for it. some people are carriers and never know and it doesnt affect baby at all but for others it can be fatal for baby. once you have had iv anti b in labour, they also swab placenta and umbilical cord on delivery to check if this has the infection. luckily for us i was swabbed and found to be infected so ella also had iv anti b when she was born otherwise it could have gone undetected and i dread to think what would have happened. Also as GBS is infectious, you should also be given a private room to prevent the infection from being passed on.
Jo

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Friday, April 27th 2007, 1:12pm

GBS

Ok ladies
Been reading my PG mag - is anyone going to be tested for this. Noones mentioned this to me as yet ( the article said it wasn't a major focus for the ante-natal care ) My friend tested positive and had to have a drip after her baby's birth.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Caz x

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Friday, April 27th 2007, 1:29pm

Caz - I got tested at around 36 weeks - I asked to be tested. It's just a swab - like a PAP smear, and the results come back in a few days.

If they come back positive then you (& often bubs) need to be given anti-biotics after and sometimes during delivery. It's a fairly serious infection without symptoms for the mother, but is very very rare. But the test is so simple that i dont understand why it isnt regularly given.

KIRSTY G

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Friday, April 27th 2007, 2:17pm

Hopefully not hijacking Caz .... but, I have this

When I had my ectopic they tested me for this (Is that usual?) and it came back positive. They gave me a crappy 2 page leaflet which went in 'the drawer' and I didn't even think about it for about 6 months. Since reading it I realise how serious it can be, and have told my m/w who just said that I would need anti-b's before the babies are born ....

Really interested in any info given here ....

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "KIRSTY G" (Apr 27th 2007, 2:17pm)


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Friday, April 27th 2007, 2:18pm

unfortunatly it's not offered as routine teating in this country. it's only detedcted if you should "happen" to have a vaginal swab done for any particular reason.

Rose

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Friday, April 27th 2007, 2:20pm

The reason given for not offering it as a routine test is purerly a finacial one. the cost implications outweigh the number of gbs cases it wuold detect. Thats unfortunatly the way the NHS works these days :(

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Rose" (Apr 27th 2007, 2:20pm)


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Friday, April 27th 2007, 2:23pm

Oh blimey !!

I know my friend asked for it and the doctor and midwife poo pooed the idea so she went and had a test done privately - think it was £30. They weren't even that concerned that she tested postive, she said it was as if she'd done something they didn't approve of.

Caz xx

KIRSTY G

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Friday, April 27th 2007, 2:26pm

I've read that it can be really serious if the infection passes to the baby in your birth canal ... it can lead to meningitis :(

Even if the baby is not infected you still have to stay in for observation for a couple of days after birth to keep an eye on bubs ... It scares the sh!t out of me to be honest

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Friday, April 27th 2007, 2:30pm

i first heard about it on the old version of this website where one of the ladies had it but only found out after her child had meningitis and was severely disabled because of it, and it could have been prevented!

personally, if I had had to pay 30 quid for the test, I would have done.

Binky

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Friday, April 27th 2007, 3:18pm

I had a swab in early pg and tested positive, If i went into labour I was told to go start to the delivery suite as they like to get at least 3 sets of Anti b's in before delivery, its only the delivery part that is harmful to bubs as it can pass on all sorts of things. If you don't get there in time etc then they give bubs IV anti b's after delivery.

Anyway I was induced and was given 4 sets of anti b's before delivery then I had to stay on the ward for 48 hours after delivery and before I was allowed to pick up Libby at anytime I had to have her temp taken to check for signs of infection. It is a pain in the butt but a worth while one.

Jox

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47

Friday, April 27th 2007, 3:51pm

I have a midwife appt on Monday - I'll be querying this. I read the whole article and didn't reliase it was so serious.
Thanks girls - what would I do without you all?

Caz xx

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48

Friday, April 27th 2007, 6:41pm

I had a swab done at 36wks, but I had to fight for it. My midwife said that the GBS people had too much funding and flooded the market and magazines with leaflets and way too much information.

I told her I was going to buy a test and she backed down and did it for me herself. I was made to feel totally over the top and neurotic, but I'm happy I got the test and everything was ok.

If you feel strongly enough about wanting the test, you should make a stand and have it.

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49

Tuesday, May 29th 2007, 12:19pm

Group B Strep.....the importance of testing

HI guys,
OK.....firstly....for those of you who are due any day and have not had the test either on NHS (not too reliable, can give false negatives) or privately (reliable results) i am hoping this will not cause any panic or stress......and i was seriously thinking of not making a comment because of this......but decided that it was important enough information for those who were still within the timescale for testing (recommneded 35-37 wks but can be done later just increases the chances of baby arriving before results are through) that i would mention the GBS test, as i have just had one done privately and had a positive result.
I should say that in my opinion it would be worth doing even if you are over the timescale as the turnaround time for results is just a few days anyway....and you can notify your health care providers yourself to speed things up if you get a positive result.
I should also say that the estimated figures for new born babies developing GBS infection are 1 in 1000 babies.....which is about 700 babies a year in the UK, so if you are too late to be tested, please remember these figures and keep things in perspective. 0.1 % is not a lot.
All the information i am relaying is, other than stated as personal opinion, taken from the Group B Strep Support leaflet which came with my results, their website is www.gbss.org.uk please check it out for yourselves for more information.
I only knew anything about GBS and being tested for carrying it because my mum read a newspaper article which alerted her to it. I was not given any information about it by my health professionals....except when i asked about testing. It doesn't seem to be on the agenda round here to alert people to the facts about GBS.
Anyway...i did some research on the internet and was concerned enough to request a screening pack from a company called The Doctors Laboratory. They appear to be the only place that offer private testing....which costs £32 and is highly sensitive and accurate. The only test available on the NHS is not reliable in many cases, giving a falsely negative resuly in half of all the negatives reported...though apparently a positive result is reliable.
Ok these are the scary bits......GBS infection in baies is potentially very serious, up to a third of men and women carry GBS in their intestines and a quarted of women carry it in their vagina. Usually we are oblivious to its presence as it is hard to detect and has no symptoms. Colonisation can come and go, however no antibiotics tested so far can reliably eradicate it.
GBS is the UK's most common cause of bacterial infection in newborns....but it is RARE. Many babies are exposed to the bacteria without ill effects, but some babies are susceptable. Exposure to GBS can occur in utero but it can happen during labout or passage through the birth canal, or after birth.
Apparently MOST GBS infection in newborns can be PREVENTED by giving mums who carry it intravenous antibiotics from eithre the start of labour or waters breaking. The recommended antibiotics are highly effective and if given to the mum carrying GBS then the risks of her baby being affected falls from 1 in 300 to 1 in 6000.
Armed with these facts and statistics i felt it important to be tested and requested a free sampling pack on line from The Doctors Laboratory. This was sent out quickly.....and complete with instructions of how to take the swabs yourself if preferred, though this can be tricky with a bump to contend with and it might be easier to get the midwife to do it for you! I then sent the pack back to TDL with my £32 payment and ticking the option to be informed of the result by text message as well as in writing. 3 days later i had my text to say i was positive. a couplke of days after that i recieved it in writing and my midwife recieved notification also. She phoned me today to say she had forwarded the information to the hospital and i would have the antibiotics during labour. The hospital is sending out yellow stickers to go on my notes to alert the staff to my needs when i go in.
I am VERY glad i had the test done....i know the liklihood of there being problems is rare but i feel happier knowing that i have done all i can to prevent them....i hope that everything i have said is helpful rather than causing any distress or panic....i just wish that the information was more widely available for people to choose to test or not. I have mentioned this to several pregnant ladies and they have been as oblivious as i was. Perhaps this is just in my area...hopefully other health authorities are more enlightened and you all know about GBS already. I just felt it was important to mention it.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "serendipity39" (May 29th 2007, 12:20pm)


Missy

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Tuesday, May 29th 2007, 4:36pm

Thanks for that Meri :))

xxx

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