A petition calling for routine group B Strep tests to be freely available to pregnant women has been delivered to parliament.
The petition, which has been signed by over 250,000 people, was sent to parliament’s Department of Health yesterday (Monday 23 January 2017) by bereaved parents Fiona Paddon and Scott Bramley.
The petition campaigns for group B Strep bacteria tests to be available to all pregnant women across the UK.
According to charity Group B Strep Support, each test would cost around £11 and could prevent over 80% group B Strep infections per year.
Group B Strep bacteria is the leading cause of life-threatening infections in new born babies, causing meningitis, sepsis, and pneumonia.
1 in 4 woman carry group B Strep bacteria which can be passed on to the baby during childbirth if it is undetected.
CEO of Group B Strep Support, Jane Plumb MBE, joined Fiona Paddon and Scott Bramley to deliver the petition, along with other parents who had been affected by group B Strep.
Fiona Paddon and Scott Bramley’s local MP, Matthew Pennycook, also supported their petition: “The heartbreak that my constituents Fiona and Scott have gone through after the loss of their son, Edward, is unimaginable.
“I fully support their calls on the Government to inform all expectant parents about group B Strep and offer all women testing for group B Strep in pregnancy,” he said.
Fiona Paddon gave birth to Edward after a 34-hour birth, followed by an emergency C-section.
Edward suffered brain damage and his parents made the decision to turn off his ventilator. Edward passed away at just nine days old.
Fiona says that if she was offered a group B Strep test during pregnancy and antibiotics in labour, Edward would be alive today.
“It’s almost impossible to think that your baby will die and to be told that I could have been tested, and then successfully treated for the very thing that killed Edward is almost too much to bear,” she said.
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