App Helps Prevent Group B Strep Infection in Newborns

Lara C. Pullen, PhD

February 24, 2014

A new smartphone application (app) eases implementation of evidence-based guidelines to prevent group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections in neonates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the app in an announcement published in the February 21 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The app was written in response to the fact that GBS remains, in the United States, a leading cause of early-onset neonatal sepsis.

GBS testing and intrapartum GBS prophylaxis are indicated for women who present with threatened preterm delivery. The app provides an efficient way for providers to have the newest management recommendations on hand.

"CDC's 'Prevent Group B Strep' app was developed with and endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Geared towards obstetric and neonatal providers, this interactive app delivers real-time patient-specific guidance at the point of clinical care. Users provide patient clinical characteristics by responding to a series of up to 12 questions, and the app returns patient-specific recommendations based on the 2010 Guidelines for Prevention of Perinatal Group B Strep , Alison Patti, MPH, from the CDC, told Medscape Medical News.

The app reminds clinicians when intrapartum antibiotics are indicated and suggests antibiotics based on patient characteristics. The recommendations use a decision-tree guideline. Once downloaded, the free app does not require an Internet connection.

"Rather than having to search through a complex 32-page document with 9 figures, 4 boxes, and 3 tables to find the relevant management advice, Prevent Group B Strep streamlines guidelines adherence by providing patient-specific management recommendations after providers enter pertinent clinical data. The app offers a practical, user-friendly, and reliable alternative endorsed by the leading stakeholder organizations in obstetric and newborn frontline care," Patti said.

One in 4 pregnant women in the United States is colonized with GBS. This translates into approximately 1 million newborns each year who are at risk for GBS.

Newborn infections are preventable, however, and the app should help with prevention. In many cases, there are persistent gaps in the use of intrapartum antibiotics for pregnant women as well as the management of newborns. The app provides patient-specific management guidance that is consistent with the most current national prevention guidelines.

"The 2010 Guidelines for Prevention of Perinatal GBS Disease have some important updates," explained Patti. For example, most women who are allergic to penicillin should receive cefazolin for GBS prophylaxis. Women who are allergic to penicillin and have anaphylaxis should receive clindamycin if susceptibility has been performed and the GBS isolate is susceptible to clindamycin. Vancomycin is recommended for women when the isolate is not susceptible to clindamycin.

Patti has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;63:162. Full text


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