Monday, March 4, 2013

A doctor's warning

It's bad enough that you have to put up with ignorance from the general public, but doctors' ignorance angers me even more. At this point, I know more about SIDS than any of the pediatricians I have met do. I keep up with the latest research and they just can't-not with all the other illnesses and childhood ailments they have to be on top of. Still, this story bugs the hell out of me.

Over the weekend my mom got a text from one of her students. It read like this:

Please pray for my baby cousin. She was born in February and the doctor says that he is afraid that she will die from SIDS.

I mean, really? If we could really predict when SIDS might happen then we would be able to prevent it because we'd know what was causing it. I have played around with different scenarios, trying to give this doctor (whom I assume is local) the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he gave her a list of the "SIDS reduction" tips (and I call bullshit on those) and she interpreted that as he was afraid her baby would die? I would LIKE to think that is what happened.

However, after dealing with a lot of ignorant doctors in the area, I could also see how he might have really told her that he was afraid her baby would die from SIDS. *Note: all of my doctors at present time are good ones. I have weeded out the dummies.

What bothers me just as much is the fact that my mom's student believed it. There is so much misinformation out there about SIDS and that is one of the main reasons why it carries such a stigma. People believe that it can be prevented, that it's contagious, that it can be caught "in time", and, worst of all, that parents are at fault for it. How many times have I told someone that my child died of SIDS only to have them nod their head in compassion and ask, "Did you forget to put him on his back?" Too many times to count.

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