Iatrogeny in paediatrics: reconsider attitudes.

Ema Leal, Maria João Brito, Catarina Gouveia, Luís Varandas, Gonçalo Cordeiro Ferreira


Iatrogeny is a pathologic condition caused in a patient in the different stages of a medical act. In the United States, it is the fourth cause of death but in Portugal, data are not yet available. Though different from medical error, it is still a taboo subject for health care providers. The authors report a case of relational, diagnostic and therapeutic iatrogeny with serious consequences for the patient. Doctors have a fundamental role in reducing morbidity and mortality due to iatrogenic causes; they have the duty to question and reconsider diagnosis and treatments, keeping an alert attitude and self-criticism in order to identify potential iatrogenic interventions or to correct it as soon as possible.

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