What is Group B Strep Infection?

Group B strep is a type of bacteria called streptococcal bacteria. It is very common and a large number of people have it living in their body, usually in the rectum or vagina.

How do I know if I have Group B Strep?

Group B strep is normally harmless and most people will not realise that they have it. It is usually only a problem for:

  • Pregnant woman –  it could spread to the baby
  • Babies –  it can make them very ill
  • Elderly or very ill people- it could cause repeated or serious infections.

Group B Strep is not routinely tested for but it may be found during tests carried out for another reason, such as a urine test or vaginal swab. It is common in pregnant woman and rarely causes any problems. If you are worried about Group B Strep you should speak to your midwife or GP.

What are the risks of Group B Strep for Mother’s?

If you have Group B Strep you may experience health problems such as

  • Bladder infections
  • Uterine infections
  • Fever

There is also an extremely small risk you could miscarry or lose your baby.

What are the risks of Group B Strep for Babies?

Your baby will usually be healthy, however there is a small risk it could spread to your baby during labour and make them ill. If this happens your baby may be monitored in hospital to check for any problems.

Babies exposed to group B Strep may develop serious problems such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis
  • Sepsis

Occasionally, symptoms of Group B strep infection can develop up to 3 months after birth.

You should call 999 or go to A&E immediately if your baby develops any of these symptoms:

  • grunting when breathing
  • very fast or slow breathing
  • a very fast or slow heart rate
  • unusually low or high temperature
  • being floppy and unresponsive

What is the treatment for Group B Strep?

Mother’s with group B strep may be prescribed anti-biotics and babies who develop symptoms will be given antibiotics into a vein.

Most babies with group B strep infection make a complete recovery if treated.

We understand that poor care can lead to devastating, life changing injuries and it’s at this point that patients should consider legal action. If your baby has sustained an injury resulting from delayed diagnosis or treatment of Group B Step, please call us on 0113 284 5745 or email clinneg@isonharrison.co.uk a member of our team will listen to your story and deal with your enquiry in a sensitive matter.

Legally Speaking Podcast

Our Director & Head of Clinical Negligence, James Thompson, discusses the sensitive topic of birth injuries and how to bring a birth injury negligence claim.

Listen to our Legally Speaking podcast on birth injuries here: