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Missed opportunities to treat: syphilis in pregnancy
  1. Kirsty Le Doaré,
  2. Hannah Gannon,
  3. Jennifer Handforth
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Croydon University NHS Trust, Croydon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kirsty Le Doaré, Department of Paediatrics, Croydon University NHS Trust, London Road, Croydon CR7 7YE, UK; kirstyledoare{at}

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In all, 35% of all UK-reported cases of syphilis in 2010 arose in London, 40% in women of childbearing age.1 Adequate antenatal screening aims to prevent cases of congenital syphilis. In England estimates show 95% of pregnant women are screened for syphilis; this hides wide regional variation (77%–100%).2 Evidence from London demonstrated complicated current follow-up practices leading to inadequacies in investigation, treatment and follow-up of pregnant women that may lead to unnecessary cases of congenital syphilis.3

We conducted a retrospective audit at Croydon University NHS Trust of the case notes of all women presenting in pregnancy with positive syphilis serology (positive Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL)/rapid plasma reagin …

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  • Contributors KLeD prepared and undertook the audit and was responsible for writing the first draft of this article. HG aided KLeD in undertaking the audit. JH reviewed the data and provided comments during writing, and substantially contributed to, and approved, the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study is a retrospective case note audit to assess adequacy of current local guidelines for the care of women with syphilis in pregnancy and their infants and thus does not require ethics committee approval.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing The authors are happy to provide anonymised data with the approval of their information management department.

  • Disclaimer The authors believe that the data presented in this report is correct and has not been published elsewhere.