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More children are being hit by life-threatening throat bugs after NHS cuts for tonsil operations 

Cuts in NHS budgets for tonsil surgery may have triggered a steep rise in life-threatening infections among children.

A study revealed that between 1991 and 2014 the number of youngsters under 14 treated for complications from throat bugs more than doubled.

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Over the same period, NHS tonsillectomies in England plummeted by 80 per cent – from 28,000 a year to 6,300.

The children who were treated needed emergency hospital attention for group A streptococcus, a bug that causes tonsillitis and ‘strep’ throat.

If that infection spreads into the body – becoming ‘invasive’ streptococcus – it can cause deadly sepsis or toxic shock syndrome. One in five patients who get it die within a week.

A study revealed between 1991 and 2014 the number of youngsters under 14 treated for complications from throat bugs more than doubled. Over the same period, NHS tonsillectomies in England plummeted by 80 per cent – from 28,000 a year to 6,300. File image sused 

The study was carried out to try to establish why cases of invasive strep infection in children have been rising in recent years. 

The researchers, who included scientists from Public Health England, suggest fewer tonsillectomies may be the reason.

Last night, senior clinicians blamed cuts in funding.

‘There is a lot of pressure to save money in the NHS by doing fewer tonsillectomy operations and I fear the pendulum may have swung too far,’ said ear, nose and throat surgeon Mr Tony Narula, past president of ENT UK. 

‘Invasive strep used to cause a lot of problems and I worry people will forget how serious it is.’

In the 1950s, almost 250,000 tonsillectomies a year were done on the NHS. But they are now classed as ‘procedures of limited clinical effectiveness’ and funding has been slashed.

Most patients have surgery only after five or more bouts of painful tonsillitis in a year.

Dr Sanjay Patel, spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: ‘Tonsillectomies are not without harm, and if we start promoting them then more children are going to suffer bleeding and pain.’

The children who were treated needed emergency hospital attention for group A streptococcus, a bug that causes tonsillitis and 'strep' throat. File image used 

The children who were treated needed emergency hospital attention for group A streptococcus, a bug that causes tonsillitis and ‘strep’ throat. File image used 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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