infant mortality

2 petition

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Prof Dame Sally Davies, Dr Duncan Selbie

Provide tests for Group B Strep to prevent any more avoidable deaths of newborn babies

My partner Scott and I should have been sharing our son Edward Gili’s first birthday last month. But instead of having that exciting first year to celebrate and many more to look forward to, we had just 9 precious days to spend with our beautiful son. Edward was cruelly taken from us as a result of contracting group B Strep infection at birth. On average, one newborn baby a day in the UK develops group B Strep infection. One baby a week dies from group B Strep infection. One baby a fortnight who survives the infection is left with long-term disabilities - physical, mental or both.  It is the UK’s most common cause of severe bacterial infection in newborn babies, and of meningitis in babies under 3 months. Group B Strep is a normal bacterium carried by around 1/4 women, without symptoms and usually unknowingly. It can be passed from mother to baby around birth with potentially devastating consequences for the baby. But these consequences are usually preventable and that’s why I’ve started this petition with the charity Group B Strep Support. Unlike many other developed countries including Germany and Spain, the UK does not routinely offer tests to pregnant women specifically to check for Group B Strep carriage during late pregnancy. If doctors know a mum is carrying GBS, they can administer simple antibiotics during labour to prevent the infection - over 80% of these infections could be prevented. However the GBS-specific ECM (enriched culture medium) test is rarely available through the NHS.  Since 2003, the UK has used ‘risk factors’ to guess which pregnant women might be at risk. Risk factors are poor at predicting which babies will develop the infection -- the number of babies infected is growing, we need to stop guessing and start testing. The ECM test costs the NHS £11 each and the antibiotics used in labour (usually penicillin) cost the NHS pennies. Had we had ECM tests in place, Edward Gili could be here today for us to see his first steps and hear his first words. We can’t afford to lose any more lives, we can’t afford not to do this.

Fiona Paddon
312,189 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to David Cameron MP, Jeremy Hunt, Jeremy Corbyn, Edwin Poots, Dr Dan Poulter

Review current care systems in place in the UK to reduce pregnancy and infant mortality rates.

Save The Children's recent League table indicates that the UK is one of the worst places in the developed world to become a mother when looking at infant and childhood mortality, maternal health and womens rights. Every day seventeen babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth in the UK. Seventeen families will not take their baby home from hospital tonight. Seventeen families will today suffer the worst pain that you can imagine when they have to say goodbye to their baby and the future that they had planned with them. Research would suggest that many of these deaths are preventable. We are asking the government to take time to review several pertinant areas in prenatal care that WILL prevent babies dying. A group of mothers has felt the need to start this petition, all of us are one of the seventeen.  We have all met through common tragedy on a website that allows us to share our experiences and support each other through the most challenging period in our lives, it is through our shared information that we realise the current system of prenatal care delivery is sorely lacking and a review of the current system of care could significantly reduce the number babies lost every day.   A review of the current education and monitoring of pregnant women is urgently required. The taboo of pregnancy and infant loss is imbeded within the current healthcare system with the majority of women never being told the warning signs of foetal distress and significance of reduced movements by their healthcare provider. The delivery of information regarding the warning signs of foetal distress should be standardised and disseminated nationally to all pregnant women as a matter of course.   The current system of monitoring the growth and development of the baby by midwives with the use of a tape measure is arguably outdated and subjective. Support the midwives in delivering gold standard care with the modern equiptment they deserve. Additional ultrasound screening and consultant review in the third trimester for all pregnancies, not just those deemed high risk could identify managable problems which are later found to contribute to the loss of a baby. Finally current research suggests one third of the 4000 stillbirths in the UK could be prevented if the baby was delivered in time. Why are we allowing women to routinely go overdue in their pregnancy increasing their risk of loss.   In summary We are asking for a review of the current midwifery led system for pregnancies deemed low risk including the delivery of information regarding foetal distress for all mothers. A review of the current practices into the monitoring of foetal growth and development in the third trimester. A review of the data of pregnancy and infant loss in women over the 37th week of pregnancy.

The seventeen
18,955 supporters