Sunday, 12 August 2007

Child abuse

A 4 year old died from iatrogenic drug overdose . . . she was medicated on major antipsychotics (quetiapine) and 3, 3 other drugs to treat her Bipolar Mood Disorder which had been diagnosed at age 2.5.

And the medics thought she was the mad one?!

Much badness.

8 comments:

Advanced Practitioner said...

Bloody Hell Shrink

Definate child abuse!

There was a case in my area last year, where a GP stated publicly in the local press that he was prepared to treat a 3 year old with antidepressants, as the little girl had low mood after her parents failed to gain a school place with her friends.

What next?

The Girl said...

That is so very tragic.

Zarathustra said...

My (admittedly brief) experience of CAMHS is that they seem very reluctant to use any kind of medication at all, and seemed to focus very strongly on psychosocial interventions. Hopefully that means that this sort thing couldn't happen here in the UK.

Probably not a coincidence that I currently looking for a job in CAMHS.

The Shrink said...

Advanced Pratitioner, yup, what can you say? Seems frankly inexcusable.

Not gaining a place with friends will make a child upset.
Their mood will be low. A GP should know that having moods is part of being human and isn't something to medicalise . . . sadness is not an illness and is not clinical depression.

The Girl, agreed, it's tragic. Unbelievable that it's happened. Even though it was a while ago now I only chanced upon it this weekend and felt it worth flagging up as such a significant event. What can you say? Much badness.

. . . they seem very reluctant to use any kind of medication at all . . .
- Zarathustra

Very, very true.

In my spell working within Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) I was part of an ADHD assessment team. 2 days a week we saw children referred with ADHD. As a specialist service, these were children who child psychologists, health visitors, school headteachers, paediatricians and such thought had ADHD.

Running a clinic 2 days a week each and every week for 6 months, seeing these children who "experts" had referred with problematic behaviour, yielded no prescriptions.

Not a single one.

There usually is very low use of medication in children, for mental health problems. Typically it's because, as you say, systemic approaches with psychosocial interventions have been proven to be more effective and enduring and safer than drug treatment.

Medication does have a place. But to my reckoning it's a very small one for very few children.

Good luck with the job hunting in CAHMS :)

Ms-Ellisa said...

This is uncalled for... Overdose on a three year old????

Zarathustra said...

As I recall from my brief stint in CAMHS (this was a 6-week student nurse placement) the emphasis was heavily on CBT, parenting classes and other psychosocial interventions.

The drug reps would drop by, we'd nod politely, take the freebies (thanks to Equisym for the free stethoscope by the way, and the nurse therapist who was mentoring me was equally thrilled by her electric pencil sharpener) and then go back to using psychosocial interventions.

Six weeks there, and I never saw a single drug administered.

Cal said...

Oh my goodness.

I had to read it twice to figure out what was going on.

So tragic. How could this have happened?? I don't get it!

The Shrink said...

Cal, indeed.

To diagnose major mood disorder in a child who's 2 and a half years old then start oodles of psychotropic medication beggars belief.

For this medication to have killed the child is tragic.

Madness.