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RCOG updates guideline on group B strep (GBS)

19 September, 2017

RCOG updates guideline on group B strep (GBS)

The RCOG's green-top guideline on the prevention of early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal (EOGBS) disease has been updated.

The new key recommendations state that women, who go into labour before 37 weeks, regardless of whether their waters have broken, should be offered intravenous antibiotics during labour to prevent onset of the GBS infection.

It recommends that women who carried GBS in a previous pregnancy should be offered the option of GBS-specific (ECM) testing for GBS late in the current pregnancy.

It also proposes that all pregnant women should be provided with an information leaflet on GBS.

According to the RCOG, incidence of EOGBS appears to be rising in the UK and around 500 babies developed the condition in 2015. This is the third time that the guideline has been revised since 2003.

RCOG vice president of education Professor Janice Rymer said: ‘Research by the RCOG in 2015 found a large variation in UK practice about how best to prevent EOGBS disease. This revised guideline will provide standardised treatment of pregnant women with GBS and reduce the risk of their babies developing the infection. 

‘The guideline also aims to raise awareness of GBS by recommending that all pregnant women are provided with an appropriate information leaflet, which the RCOG is now updating in line with this new guidance.’

The RCOG patient information leaflet is currently being updated and is due for publication later this year, but the updated guideline can be accessed here now. 

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