In the April 2011 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will share the revised guidelines for the prevention/treatment of GBS or Group B Streptococcal Disease.
GBS is a relatively common, asymptomatic bacteria carried by women (approx. 10-30% of expectant mothers) in the vagina or rectum. If transmitted to newborns (approx 2% of newborns infected), it can cause infections such as sepsis (blood), lungs, brain, or spinal cord. Nearly 5% of those infected newborns tragically die. It is important to note that when the guidelines were published in 1996, there has been between 70-80% decrease int he rate of early onset GBS disease.
Summarizing the new CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) guides for GBS, the ACOG Committee Opinion #485 acknowledges the screening between 35-37 weeks of pregnancy and the antibiotic treatment for women with preterm labor or premature rupture of membranes (water breaking). Updated guides include antibiotic treatment for women plus regimens for women with penicillin allergy, and updated management plans for newborns at risk.
To see the CDC Guidelines or download them as a PDF, click here.
The College of Midwives of Manitoba (Canada) recently updated their Guidelines for Management of Group B Strep. Click here to see their Guidelines.