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RCOG New Guidance on GBS

25th September 2017

RCOG publishes new guidance on managing Group B Strep infection

The updated Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guideline on Group B Strep was published on 13 September 2017.  The full report can be accessed here –

The new guideline makes a number of very important changes, including 3 important ones:

  1. All pregnant women to be given an information leaflet about group B Strep
  2. All women in preterm labour to be offered intravenous antibiotics, and
  3. Where a mother carried GBS in a previous pregnancy and her baby did not develop GBS infection, she should be offered the option of either intravenous antibiotics in a subsequent labours or ECM testing late in another pregnancy with offer of the intravenous antibiotics in labour if positive

We are pleased that that the new guidance has incorporated many of the recommendation that the Group B Strep Support  Group has been campaigning for over the years. The previous decision not to require ECM (Enriched Culture Medium) testing where mothers previously carried GBS bacteria has now been superceded and the guideline should ensure that mothers now received either antibiotics or an ECM test. ECM testing is the gold standard for detecting GBS and this decision will help to ensure that those mothers that are at higher risk will be investigated appropriately.

However, work continues on many areas and the campaign to ensure that all mothers are routinely tested for GBS carries on unabated.

It is also hoped that a patient information leaflet prepared jointly by the charity Group B Strep Support and the RCOG should be finalised by the end of 2017.

Congratulations to Jane Plumb MBE and her team for all their hard work to push for this important development in patient safety.



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