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How doctors can avoid medical malpractice when treating patients with cushing syndrome?

depressedA doctor who doesn’t screen a child treated for Cushing syndrome for depression related mental illness may commit medical malpractice.

Cushing syndrome is a rare disease that occurs when the body produces too much of the hormone cortisol. It can lead to obesity, infections, bone fractures and kidney stones. Therefore it shouldn’t be left untreated.  The disease can be caused by taking too much glucocorticosteroid medicine or by a pituitary gland tumor that releases Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) among other causes. When a child suffers from this syndrome the usual treatment is to remove the tumor that produces the excess cortisol.

A study recently released by the National Institute of Health however shows that children that have been treated for this syndrome have a high risk of developing anxiety and suicidal thoughts months after they have been successfully treated. The study looked at 149 patients and found that 6% of them thought about suicide and experienced depression, irritability, anxiety and anger with outbursts of rage after the treatment. These symptoms appeared from 7 to 48 months after the treatment.

The study also indicates that children usually affected by this syndrome  often show compulsive behavior and tend to be super achievers. However their behavior changes after the treatment and they become depressed and anxious.  In order to avoid medical malpractice, doctors who are treating children for Cushing syndrome should always follow up with their patients and make sure they are screened for depression related mental illness.

Read the National Intstitute of Health News Release here