Medical Negligence Lawyers Instructed To Investigate After Mum Was Only Made Aware Of Infection Following Delivery Of Baby
A Leeds mum is raising awareness of the dangers of Group B Strep after her baby son was diagnosed with a brain injury after she tested positive for the infection.
Bahatt Ibrahim was 39 weeks pregnant when she attended St James’ Hospital for a routine appointment. She had noted discharge that morning and swabs were carried out.
Two days later on 12 August, 2017, baby Emmanuel Mingeley was delivered by Caesarean section and the pair were discharged home the next day.
Bahatt returned to hospital with Emmanuel nine days later as he was suffering breathing problems. He was put in an induced coma for a week.
Leeds mum Bahatt receives positive Group B Strep infection diagnosis
At that time, Bahatt was given the results of the swabs taken prior to Emmanuel’s birth which confirmed her positive for Group B Strep.
Emmanuel underwent an MRI scan and was subsequently found to have meningitis and brain damage, likely as a result of Group B Strep. He was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy and went on to develop sepsis during his time in the neonatal unit.
Lawyers investigate after boy who suffered brain damage diagnosed with cerebral palsy
Following her son’s diagnosis, Bahatt, 39, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their care under the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs St James’ Hospital.
She’s now joining with her legal team in marking Group B Strep Awareness Month by highlighting how dangerous it can be and the signs and symptoms to look out for.
Group B Streptococcus is the most common cause of infection in newborns in Britain. Harmless to the estimated one in four women who carry the bacterium, it can be fatal for babies if it’s transmitted in the birth canal.
Expert Opinion“It came as a huge shock to Bahatt when she was told she had tested positive for Group B Strep as the first time she was made aware of this was when Emmanuel fell ill.
“She was then given the devastating news that her baby boy had suffered a brain injury and has understandably struggled to come to terms with what this could mean for his future.
“Bahatt also has many questions over the care provided to her and Emmanuel, and whether her Group B Strep should have been identified and treated sooner, potentially avoiding her son’s brain injury.
“Group B Strep is a serious bacterial infection, but with early diagnosis and treatment, injuries to newborn babies can be prevented.
“We’re now investigating Bahatt’s concerns and join her in raising awareness of the condition.
“It’s also important to know there is help out there for people and families affected by Group B Strep, and we’ll continue to support both Bahatt and Emmanuel throughout this.” Kimberley Nightingale
Group B Strep: Emmanuel Mingeley's story
Nearing age five now, Emmanuel has recently been diagnosed with autism. He also has developmental disabilities and can’t speak.
Bahatt, who also has a 21-year-old daughter, said: “After I underwent tests at my appointment before Emmanuel’s birth, I assumed there were no issues as I hadn’t heard anything further.
“But when I got Emmanuel home from hospital, he became more and more unsettled. I knew something wasn’t right so we returned to the hospital and that’s when they told me my previous tests confirmed I had Group B Strep.
“It completely floored me, as I had heard how dangerous it could be, and at this point Emmanuel had been put in a coma so I was fearing the worst.
“Then I was given the devastating news that he had brain damage. The whole experience was nothing short of traumatic and to this day I worry about Emmanuel and how life will be for him, particularly now he’s also been diagnosed with cerebral palsy."
Bahatt supports Group B Strep Awareness Month
“While I know there is nothing I can do to change what’s happened, I have so many questions over whether Emmanuel’s injury could have been prevented. I also want to raise awareness around Group B Strep and how it’s vital for it to be found and treated early.
“In the meantime, we’ve had such great support from Leeds Mencap and Irwin Mitchell who have made coming to terms with everything that bit easier. The Nightingale school in Leeds has also been supportive for us. I love Emmanuel so much and the support from the teams is helping me give him the best life I can.”
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families affected by Group B Strep and other birth injuries at our dedicated birth injuries section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.