GBS test available in private clinics

Women should be made aware of a routine test which could alert doctors to a potentially serious condition in their unborn child, according to a mother whose baby was left with cerebral palsy following problems caused by an infection at birth.

Michelle Cartwright's son, Cohben, was diagnosed with Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a condition similar to meningitis, shortly after his birth, according to the Bolton Evening News.

The bacteria is carried by many women, for whom it is harmless, but babies can become infected at birth, some becoming critically ill.

A routine test can help to identify the bacteria in women so that treatment can be provided prior to delivery.

Although not available on the NHS, it costs just £30 in private clinics, the Evening News reports.

Ms Cartwright argues that this is a small price to pay and said that she would have sought private treatment had she been aware of the test.

"I know tests aren't available to determine whether a baby has GBS on the NHS but, had I known they existed and that I could have one carried out privately, perhaps what happened to Cohben could have been prevented," she told the Evening News.

"I want to do all I can to stop this from happening to another family."

Cathy Atherton, a consultant midwife at the Royal Bolton Hospital, told the Evening News that the bacteria is "very common".

"Many of us carry it in our body and it's perfectly harmless," she said, adding that it can be treated with antibiotics.

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GBS test available in private clinics
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