Latchingdon mum calls for better testing after baby survived potentially fatal infection that is treatable with antibiotics

Louise Pallister holding son Rylee, with daughter Macy, holding Leo

Louise Pallister holding son Rylee, with daughter Macy, holding Leo

First published in News

A mum whose baby died three times on the way to hospital has criticised a decision not to routinely test pregnant women for a potentially fatal infection.

Mum-of-four Louise Pallister, of Latchingdon, had not known about Group B Streptococcus (GBS) until her third child, Leo, was diagnosed shortly after his birth.

When her youngest son Rylee was born 18 months later, she was refused a test but was given antibiotics because of Leo’s experience.

The Department of Health has decided not to give healthcare professionals access to a more accurate swab for GBS, which had been due to be introduced on January 1.

Mrs Pallister, also mum to Macy, 12, and Hayden, nine, said: “It’s something that can be prevented, why not test and give mums antibiotics?”

Comments (5)

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6:55pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Candyland says...

Gosh, what a nightmare and how brave of this mum for sharing her story.

This is a bad decision by the Department of Health. Testing for group B Strep in pregnancy is routine practice in many developed countries (where the rate of these infections has fallen) but here in the UK our hard-pressed health professionals don't even have access to a good quality test!

The charity Group B Strep Support provides much needed information for families and their health professionals - see http://www.gbss.org.
uk
Gosh, what a nightmare and how brave of this mum for sharing her story. This is a bad decision by the Department of Health. Testing for group B Strep in pregnancy is routine practice in many developed countries (where the rate of these infections has fallen) but here in the UK our hard-pressed health professionals don't even have access to a good quality test! The charity Group B Strep Support provides much needed information for families and their health professionals - see http://www.gbss.org. uk Candyland
  • Score: 7

10:12am Wed 15 Jan 14

Jack222 says...

'Mums'? Surely parents would be better.

What's the cost of this? What's the likely rate of infection?
'Mums'? Surely parents would be better. What's the cost of this? What's the likely rate of infection? Jack222
  • Score: -3

11:15am Wed 15 Jan 14

Hawthorne says...

Unless I've missed a biological breakthrough Jack, giving the dads antibiotics isn't going to help if the pregnant mother is infected. As usual, the article not giving much in the way of clarity.
Unless I've missed a biological breakthrough Jack, giving the dads antibiotics isn't going to help if the pregnant mother is infected. As usual, the article not giving much in the way of clarity. Hawthorne
  • Score: 4

11:30am Wed 15 Jan 14

Candyland says...

The tests were costed by the NHS as being £11 and the antibiotics recommended for the woman in labour when GBS is detected is penicillin, so costs literally pennies.

GBS infections are voluntarily reported, and in 2012, there were around 500 reported in babies under the age of 3 months in the UK. GBS causes severe infections, typically sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis, each of which can be life-threatening and each of which can leave life-long issues for the survivors. £11 to identify which babies are most at risk of these horrid infections so that prevention can be put in place seems to me to be very reasonable.
The tests were costed by the NHS as being £11 and the antibiotics recommended for the woman in labour when GBS is detected is penicillin, so costs literally pennies. GBS infections are voluntarily reported, and in 2012, there were around 500 reported in babies under the age of 3 months in the UK. GBS causes severe infections, typically sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis, each of which can be life-threatening and each of which can leave life-long issues for the survivors. £11 to identify which babies are most at risk of these horrid infections so that prevention can be put in place seems to me to be very reasonable. Candyland
  • Score: 2

1:00pm Wed 15 Jan 14

missy@maldon says...

My daughter nearly died 1 day after birth, so for my second child I was given IV antibiotics whilst in labour, it is something only the mother carries in labour and can occur after prolonged rupture of the membranes, in my case 72 hours before the hospital induced me. I was left because I was quiet and didn't kick up a fuss and trusted the healthcare professionals that I would be fine.
My daughter nearly died 1 day after birth, so for my second child I was given IV antibiotics whilst in labour, it is something only the mother carries in labour and can occur after prolonged rupture of the membranes, in my case 72 hours before the hospital induced me. I was left because I was quiet and didn't kick up a fuss and trusted the healthcare professionals that I would be fine. missy@maldon
  • Score: 0

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