Mum warns against buying hot tubs after daughter nearly dies from infection

While it may be tempting to head out to the supermarket and pick up some fancy garden furniture, a Scottish mum has warned against buying hot tubs.

After Jemma Hamilton from Motherwell bought her very own hot tub, her daughter Amelia loved it.

Jemma was extra careful to keep it clean and check the water pH daily, but four months later in May 2018, her seven-year-old contracted an ear infection.

Amelia was treated with antibiotics, but then became lethargic after spending time in the hot tub.

At just five years old, Amelia was given the news that she had developed life-threatening brain abscesses caused by water bacteria, which doctors told Jemma may have been due to the tub.

Sharing the family’s story on Facebook, 26-year-old biomedical student said: ‘She spent the night being observed in Wishaw and the CT scan results came the following day and confirmed her diagnosis.

‘She had not one, but THREE puss filled abscesses on her cerebellum which were putting pressure on her optic nerve, hence the squint/dizziness/double vision etc.

‘Caused by a bacterial infection which probably entered her brain through the ear (remember her ear infection a few weeks previous which we thought had cleared up?)

‘She needed immediate treatment, but Wishaw was not equipped for this kind of condition.

‘We were told it was very rare and she needed specialist paediatric neurosurgeons to take over her case.

‘We were even asked if student doctors/specialists could meet her and look over her notes as things like this don’t happen often so would be very beneficial for them to see.

‘That night, we were transferred for the 4th time in two days, by ambulance to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow.

‘On arrival, they sat her dad and me down, and explained that her condition was life threatening and that she must start IV antibiotics straight away.

‘I thought she would be kept in for a week or two. I was wrong.

‘The neurosurgeon explained she would be in for at least 8 weeks, with weekly MRI scans to monitor her progress.

‘We were told she more than likely caught a severe ear infection from the hot tub as the warm temperatures are breeding grounds for bacteria.’

Amelia spent months in hospital with doctors doing their best to help her, and thankfully she has now made a full recovery.

However, Jemma is keen to warn other parents about the dangers of hot tubs.

‘Please, please be extra careful when treating your hot tubs/pools and make sure you do this as regularly as possible,’ said Jemma.

‘Try to keep the kiddies out or at least from going under water.

‘Also make sure to be vigilant when it comes to ear infections, they can be serious too!

‘I was lucky that the IV antibiotics she received over those few months were enough to combat this infection and that she narrowly avoided brain surgery.’

While hot tubs can be a lot of fun, please be careful when using them, as the consequences can be dire.

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