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My disabled daughter could fall critically ill at any minute due to Strep A antibiotic shortages

A WORRIED mum has warned her disabled daughter could become ‘critically ill at any minute’ if she doesn’t get the medication she needs.

Little Betsy – who has down’s syndrome, was left without any antibiotics as pharmacists up and down country run out of the treatment.

Mum Rachel Curtis had to drive around multiple pharmacies trying to obtain antibiotics for her little girl Betsy

They are in short supply due to the Strep A outbreak, which has claimed the lives of 16 children since September.

Because Strep A is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are needed to treat it.

The Government has said there are no problems with the supply chain and that there is no shortage.

However, at a local level, pharmacists have warned that they are struggling to supply the medication with such high demand.

The five-year-old has a history of pneumonia and bronchitis and needed the treatment urgently.

Her mum Rachel Curtis drove to four towns in one night in search for them after doctors prescribed them for Betsy’s chest infection.

After driving for hours, the 40-year-old said she attended a walk-in centre where she couldn’t be seen as only one doctor was available.

She said: “At this point, we don’t have a health care system anymore.

“I couldn’t even see a doctor which was really frightening.

“Betsy has down’s syndrome and she can get critically poorly within minutes.

“We’ve nearly lost her so many times because of respiratory infections.

“I really feel for the staff who are trying to do their job under the most horrendous circumstances.”

Betsy became poorly last Wednesday so Rachel took her to the local walk-in centre.

However she was sent on to A&E where there was a waiting time of up to six hours.

Rachel, of Northumberland, says she it was so packed, that there were children on the waiting room floor.

Her daughter was eventually seen by a doctor who gave Betsy an inhaler however, her condition deteriorated the following week.

Rachel added: “I rang Wednesday morning as she appeared to have an infection but they didn’t have any appointments so they sent us to their sister practice. They had no appointments until 4.30pm.

“They prescribed her Clarithromycin and I drove back home to the pharmacy who didn’t have any in stock and by this time many were closing.

“I then drove to a big ASDA in Ashington, where there was a big queue.

“A woman in front of me burst into tears because they had a shortage of antibiotics and her son ‘couldn’t breathe.’

Rachel drove to yet another pharmacy where she had no success.

She says a pharmacist told her to try 111 and request a more common antibiotic however Betsy needed the one she was prescribed as she is vulnerable.

After driving for hours and waiting on the phone to 111, the only option for Betsy was to attend A&E in the middle of the night

Rachel said: “It was freezing cold I couldn’t take her to a room full of poorly kids

“I heard from a friend that the waiting times were 15 hours.

“I needed to be well enough to take care of my child so I went to sleep and rung back the GP first thing.

“Thankfully, my parents had called around multiple pharmacies to check for the antibiotic and one had a bottle left.

“This was over 24-hrs after my child had been prescribed it.”

Betsy is now on the mend but her Rachel is now concerned about the future of the health-care system.

Betsy is now on the mend, but Rachel said she’s worried about the state of the healthcare system

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