Posted by Kerstin Scheel, Partner
Celebrity coverage puts spotlight on the need for increased awareness of group B Strep
Iwan Thomas, Olympic sprinter and television presenter, appeared on ITV’s This Morning recently, telling the story of how his son, Teddy, developed a group B Strep infection in the days after his birth.
After an uneventful pregnancy, Iwan Thomas’s son Teddy was delivered in seemingly good health. Unfortunately, within just a few hours of being born he was in intensive care as he was struggling to breath for himself. It was later confirmed he had developed a group B Strep infection.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning Iwan shared that before Teddy was diagnosed with group B Strep infection he’d never heard of it, and expressed his shock and frustration that expectant parents weren’t being routinely informed about group B Strep.
He described how he has since been told that testing is available if you pay privately (which is cheap, simple and safe to do) – something that all too often doesn’t seem to be relayed to expectant parents.
“GBS is the commonest cause of life threatening conditions in newborn babies… yet mums don’t know about it”
Dr Chris Steele, patron of charity Group B Strep Support, who is resident doctor on This Morning shared his frustrations with the current lack of information given to expectant parents. He said:
“GBS is the commonest cause of life threatening conditions in newborn babies and commonest cause of meningitis in babies under 3 months…and yet mums don’t know about it”
Fortunately Teddy made a good recovery with antibiotics and was allowed home after 10 days of treatment. Unfortunately not all babies are so lucky; with many suffering catastrophic injuries or death as a result of the infection and its consequences.
Group B Strep Support Chief Executive, Jane Plumb MBE, said:
“It was so brave of Iwan to share his and little Teddy’s story about his fight against group B Strep infection. The awareness they, Dr Chris Steele and all of ITV’s This Morning team can quite literally be life-saving. It’s not an easy thing to do to tell such a personal story on live TV, but because of this piece, more babies in future will be protected from group B Strep.”
What we see
Our involvement with families who’ve suffered catastrophic outcomes following group B Strep infection means we are all too aware of its devastating effects.
Specialist experience meant we were able to secure a life-changing settlement of £17.75 million for a client of ours to ensure his complex needs were met and that he had the highest quality of life possible.
For more information on group B strep and how you can make informed decisions about your health care see our dedicated web page for group B strep claims:
Or contact our charitable partner Group B Strep Support via their website: https://gbss.org.uk/
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