Mother not warned before infant death, inquest told

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link to article

A coronial inquest is being held into whether a seven-hour-old baby who died of a streptococcal infection received appropriate care in a hospital in the south-east of South Australia.

... An autopsy revealed the baby died of problems associated with a group-B streptococcal infection.

Deputy state coroner ... heard the mother ... had a positive streptococcal test weeks before she went into labour, but had not been made aware of the result.

... The court heard Ms Linnell was not given antibiotics - the common practice for treating group-B streptococcal infection.

GBS testing is not routine through Australia, or even throughout the developed nations. It is tested by a vaginal swab, usually at 36 weeks, but can also be tested by urine test or rectal swab.

Women who are found to have GBS are advised to have antibiotics in labour to reduce the chance of the baby becoming affected. Very few babies born to mothers who have GBS are affacted but if they are affected they can become very sick very fast, as indicated in the story above.

I'm sure the woman in this story did not receive continuity of care from a midwife - if she ahd have received this gold standard care, no doubt the positive GBS result would not have been missed. But unfortuntely it's easy to miss a test result when yours is one of many that your care provider is managing.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448