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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1998 Aug 21;47(32):665-70.

Adoption of hospital policies for prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease--United States, 1997.


Group B streptococcal (GBS) infections are the leading bacterial cause of disease and deaths among newborns in the United States. In 1993, the annual cost of caring for newborns with sepsis caused by group B Streptococcus was an estimated $294 million. A survey of hospital GBS disease prevention practices in 1994 indicated that those hospitals with a prenatal screening policy had fewer neonatal GBS disease cases. In 1996, to promote a coordinated approach to prevention, CDC issued consensus guidelines about GBS disease prevention that were endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics. These consensus guidelines recommend using either a screening-based strategy or a risk-based strategy for identifying women who should receive intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis. To evaluate adoption of the consensus guidelines, in 1997, hospitals in eight surveillance areas were surveyed, and the results were compared with findings of a similar survey conducted in 1994. The proportion of hospitals with prevention policies in each site was compared with the site's rate of early-onset disease to assess the impact of the prevention policies. This report presents the survey findings, which indicate that more hospitals have adopted GBS disease prevention policies since issuance of the consensus guidelines.

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