Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Mum Warns on Bacteria after Bub Nearly Lost

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Mum Warns on Bacteria after Bub Nearly Lost

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Spelitis helen.spelitis@ gladstoneobserver.com.au

The bacteria

The bacteria group B streptococcus is commonly found in the bowel of men and women and in the vagina of one in four women.

If passed to the baby during birth it can result in a serious blood infection, pneumonia and meningitis.

A QUEENSLAND woman, and mum, is calling on the State Government to start testing every pregnant woman for the deadly, but common bacteria that almost claimed the life of her baby.

Lauren McGregor has started a petition which has 4000 signatures calling for the introduction of mandatory testing for group B streptococcus bacteria.

Queensland is the only state that doesn't offer women the test, despite the fact it is carried by one in four.

Instead, only women who are considered at risk, or show symptoms of an infection from the bacteria, are treated with antibiotics during labour.

This month the state is due to review its guidelines and Mrs McGregor wants the policy changed.

"I don't want other mothers to go through what I did," Mrs McGregor said.

"It was the most horrible thing I had ever seen. I felt completely helpless.

"I couldn't even think. I don't think I would have been able to function if I lost her."

Six weeks after 28-year-old Lauren gave birth she woke up to her new born baby girl having a seizure. She called the ambulance straight away and within an hour her baby girl Kori was on life support.

It took medical staff a few days to figure what was wrong and for the next week the woman, who has family living in Gladstone, thought her child would die.

She watched in horror for the next three weeks as baby Kori struggled to survive.

"It was awful to see (my niece) hooked up to all those machines; to see a baby so helpless," her brother, Gladstone man Mitch McGregor, said. …

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