Parents warn of group B strep symptoms after death of baby – grunting among first signs

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The parents have set up a memorial fundraising page via Pendle Funeral Services to raise support for two charities, The Grand Appeal and Group B Strep Support.

The Grand Appeal funds Bristol’s Children’s Hospital while Group B Strep Support is working to eradicate the infection in children.

As to why these charities had been chosen the couple said: “We’ve chosen Group B Strep Support in addition to The Grand Appeal because we want more to be done to protect babies and parents from such devastating infection.

“Routine screening and wider information on Group B Strep could prevent other parents facing the painful loss that we have sadly experienced.”

Like other infections Strep B has several symptoms.

Symptoms of Strep B infection include:
• Grunting
• Noisy breathing
• Moaning
• Seems to be working hard to breathe when you look at the chest or tummy, or not breathing at all
• Being very sleepy and/or unresponsive
• Inconsolable crying
• Being unusually floppy
• Not feeding well or not keeping milk down
• Having a high or low temperature (if parents have a thermometer), and/or being hot or cold to the touch
• Having changes in their skin colour (including blotchy skin). Having an abnormally fast or slow heart rate or breathing rate
• Having low blood pressure (identified by tests done in hospital)
• Having low blood sugar (identified by tests done in hospital).

The hope is that the money can be used to stop future tragic events happening to other parents in the future.

No matter how much money is raised, it can sadly not bring back Ezrah, who’s name means “helper” in Hebrew; but it may save a child’s life in the future.

The couple described Ezrah as a “bright shining light in our memories; he was so moved and will be forever missed”.

The link to the fundraising page can be found here.

On average, two babies develop a Strep B infection in the UK every day and of the 14 who develop the condition every week, one of those will pass away.

Rates of Strep B have risen in England in recent years, with an increase of 77 percent between 1996 and 2020.

This is double the rate of other high-income countries and there is as yet no antenatal screening for the condition in the UK.

Statistically Strep B is carried by around a quarter of all pregnant women in the UK and by between 20 and 40 percent of all women nationwide.

It normally only causes problems if the baby is exposed to the bacteria when the woman is labour or in the early weeks after the birth has happened.

Most early-onset infections can be prevented if women who carry Group B strep are given preventative antibiotics.

A baby is at increased risk of Group B strep if they are born prematurely.

For more information, see the Group B Strep Support website.

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