Introduction 2-3 % of the world's population are chronically infected with hepatitis C. In the UK 50% of those infected are unaware. There is currently no national antenatal screening for hepatitis C. The aim of our audit was to compare the testing of babies born in Sheffield to Hepatitis C positive mothers with local and national guidance.
Methods We obtained a list of hepatitis C positive pregnant women from January 2007 to December 2010. We then used the IT based results system to obtain the results of hepatitis C RNA and antibodies done on the babies. We obtained clinic letters and notes to review the cases where results were not available, or were positive.
Results We identified 47 hepatitis C positive women whose babies should have been followed up. In only 10 out of 47 cases were they managed appropriately. 23% had no investigations done at all. Eight children were hep C antibody positive at last clinic visit; only 3 were still under 18 months and therefore due to be rechecked. There were no Hep C RNA positive babies.
Conclusions There was no evidence of vertical transmission, however the rate of investigations was low and therefore some positive cases could have been missed. There was a wide variation in practice and a very high rate of DNAs. To address these problems there needs to be agreement locally about the protocol, and better communication within the community involved to improve the rate of testing.