We present a case in which a mother who had had self-inflicted infections as a teenager also caused life-threatening infections in her year-old child. After testing for and treating various immunologic deficiencies without success, it was apparent that the infection was caused by contamination of intravenous sites. Strict isolation of the patient, with restricted and observed visitations by the mother, was the critical step in stopping the infections. Because the woman took her child to several emergency departments, this case is presented to alert emergency personnel to this entity and to explain some of the dynamics and the social issues that cause the problem.
- Munchausen syndrome
- child abuse