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Compulsory strep B testing in pregnancy

Comment 8th July 2010

Please could testing for strep B in pregnancy become compulsory for all mothers.

Why does this matter?

Babies are infected during childbirth and some die or suffer permanent affects as a result of conditions arising from Strep B infection.  Strep B can also cause miscarriage, stillbirth and early labour.  Whilst I appreciate that it would be costly to the NHS to perform this simple test it would saves lives and improve the quality of life for those who would have been infected if the test had not been done.  Currently many women are unaware of Strep B and often find out when it is too late and a baby has become infected or a pregnancy affected.  The cost of the results of these infections on the NHS and the long-term medical care that some babies require would be reduced which may offset some of the costs involved in testing all pregnant women and treating with antibiotics when necessary.  However, I think the cost to human life and it's quailty is a far more important consideration especially when you consider the lifelong implications strep B could have on a new baby.

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