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Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Complicating Ear Surgery

Paul DiBiase, MD; Hilary Timmis, MD; Jose A. Bonilla, MD; Wasyl Szeremeta, MD; J. Christopher Post, MD
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(12):1377-1380. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890240083018.
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ABSTRACT

Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is a form of child abuse in which a parent or caretaker produces or simulates illness in a child. Often great lengths are undertaken to diagnose and treat the myriad of symptoms and problems in these children. Unnecessary examinations, treatments, and hospitalizations ensue. Unfortunately, some victims of this syndrome die. Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a form of child abuse and should be reported appropriately. The diagnosis of MSBP is difficult to make and must be done with caution as the implications for those involved are serious. Therefore, care must be taken in properly identifying cases. We present a case of MSBP complicating the postoperative course of a boy after undergoing ear surgery for cholesteatoma. Characteristics and potential clues to the diagnosis of MSBP are discussed. The goal of our article is to inform otolaryngologists of this syndrome so they may develop a high index of suspicion to better detect its occurrence.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:1377-1380

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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