An investigation conducted in 2020 found that newborn babies are being put at unnecessary risk of death or brain injury as a result of NHS staff failing to follow the relevant guidelines to prevent Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections.
Group B Streptococcus, more commonly referred to as GBS, is a type of bacteria which is ordinarily very common in both men and women. It is normally harmless, and most people will not realise that they have it. It only usually becomes a problem if it affects young babies, pregnant women, and ill elderly people.
Pregnant women are at particular risk should they contract GBS as there is a risk that this could spread to their unborn child. Babies are particularly vulnerable to GBS so in the event that it does spread to them, it has the potential to make them very unwell. Symptoms can affect breathing, temperature and heart rate and could escalate into the development of sepsis or meningitis.
In turn, this could lead to lasting problems such as loss of hearing or loss of vision. Sadly, it can also be fatal. As such, it is important to recognise the signs of a baby that has been infected by GBS and arrange treatment for them, usually by way of antibiotics, as soon as possible.