Munchausen by Proxy

  1. Hello all. I was wanting to know what you all thought about Munchausen by Proxy (MBP)?
    Have any of you ever came across a case of it and if so how did you proceed?
    And how can one really tell if it is MBP?
    There was a case in Missouri where a mother was accused of MBP. Her child had died of ethylene glycol poisioning.The mother was charged with the child's death. This mother had another child and the doctor's found that the infant had a rare disease, methylmalonic acidemia, which had caused the death of her first child. Needless to say she initiated legal action against the hospital and the State.
    I would just like to know your views on this. Belle
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   sunnygirl272
    it's one of those horrible but train-wreck-fascinating disorders...have never seen a confirmed case....but it is an interesting topic...had a client who i think was MBP victim, but not a mom/child one....
  4. by   2MagnoliaTrees
    Not a 100% positive case but there was a mother of one of our students that many said could possibly have done this. The child did have a life threatening disorder but it seemed like she always wanted another doctor to see him and another opinion and would require us to do many treatments on him at school that we found out she wasn't even doing at home. We all had to go through tons of special training and be observed by the school nurse. We were told if we refused we'd lose our job. We are required as aides to do any Non-complex medical procedure that we can be trained to do. I had to catheterize a student a few years back. And this has NOTHING to do with me being an LPN. When I was hired I was told I wasn't recognized, paid or could wear my uniform as an LPN. I am considered an aide like all other aides in the parish. I have heard of cases of this type and it is very sad. The parent wants all of the attention and gets it by hurting the child or making the child sick so he/she has to go in to the hospital or to see the doctor. Very sad.
  5. by   nursecheryl
    I worked for my first year out of nursing on a medical behavioral floor. We got anyone who was a potential bmp case. So, yes I've seen quite a few of them. Most mbp cases the person is a woman who is very intellegent and most of the time a nurse or medical professional. The only time you see the symptoms is when the person with mbp is with the patient or has just left. They are usually the one who finds all the symptoms. they are very protective and need a lot of attention. They know a lot about the medical diagnosis, interventions, labs, etc... It is very hard to tell since this is also the typical mother who happen to also be a nurse. We also have made mistakes and accused some of mbp and it wasn't true. I don't think we ever got sued. We once had a case when mom was a lawyer and dad was a doctor. The child was taken from them because we couldn't get them to stop and the child kept coming back.
  6. by   P_RN
    Living in SC I have definitely seen it....a la SUSAN SMITH and her two boys at the bottom of the lake.
  7. by   l.rae
    oh yes up close and personal..worked for a ped office in early 80's...Baby was about 10 mo. always sick or mom said so...saw Baby at least 2xwk on a slow week...mom calling docs by first name wandered around the office like she worked there..really enjoyed herself...she would offer to hold the rectal thermometer then shake it down before you got back to the room and say his temp was 104...obvioudly BAby wasn't ill....he was reported to be allergic to everything...when he was about 2 reported a lot of nausea and vomiting...finally they put a g-tube in this child..multiple admits to childrens hosp....finally oneday during one of these admits BAby codes and dies...I went to funeral, remember thinking...mom seems like she's enjoying all this attn...then felt guilty...then autopsy results come back....and guess what????,,,,lots of ipicac syrup in the system! This mom even went thru the Make a Wish Foundation and got him a triptoDisney World about 3 mo prior to his death...he was burried in his Roger Rabbit PJ's and house shoes....Mom went to jail...made a lasting impression on me...I remember telling one of the DR's I thought she was doing something to him...but they wouldn't listen......LR
  8. by   MollyJ
    Yes, I believe I've seen it, too. But can be very hard to pinpoint because the mother (in this case) can be hard to catch and to be the first person to utter the concern really opens YOU up to being the hard-hearted b**** nurse.
  9. by   2MagnoliaTrees
    Oh. l.rae that is so horrible. To think they would continuously do this to their own child causing the child's death. That is one sick Puppy. I don't ever want to face a situation as severe as that. At least now the baby is in God's hands and free from it's insane mother.
  10. by   Cathy Wilson, RN
    Watch parents in the ER, is all I can say. They do some VERY strange things! Nothing I was able to prove, but we had our suspicions.

    Definitely did have a female Muchaausen's. Caught her with nearly her whole hand down her throat, making herself vomit with blood in it!
  11. by   night owl
    That is one sick puppy and thank God she's in jail where she belongs. It's too bad that this type of person can't be recognized BEFORE they breed.... that way they could be sterilized and made NEVER to breed.
  12. by   BBelle
    I just don't get it. I can not understand how any mother, or primary caregiver, could do this to a child. What the h*** is wrong with these people?
    This may sound awful to say, but I think that those who are found guilty, beyond a showdow of doubt, should be given a dose of there own medicene. They should be the ones who are injected with bleach, arsenic, saliva or feces. This way they will get all the da** attention they want, negative attention that is.
    I know that is hateful to say, but it just INFURIATES me. These children are defensless against their perpetrator.
    And these mothers, like Susan Smith, who kill their own children because they can't have the life they want, or for the attention.
    They should be grateful that they are in prison because if I were to ever see them on the streets I would be the one hauled off in shackles and the coroner would be scrapping them off of the pavement.
    Sorry for my little outburst, but children are a precious gift from God and no one, especially the mother, should think they have the right to end the childs life.
  13. by   Dplear
    I work a Pedi Neuro floor and we have seen MANY cases of Munchausens by Proxy. We have had 2 in just the last month. You usually can spot it pretty quick if you see enough of it.

    Dave
  14. by   GPatty
    Oh my goodness....what a horrid thing to do to a poor defensless child! So many children out there are being hurt by ones who are supposed to love them and care for them.....
    Life is sad....

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