Seizure study retracted after authors realize data got “terribly mixed”

ind j pedsA group of neonatologists in Germany has retracted a paper after apparently realizing that their data weren’t what they thought they were.

Here’s the notice, for “Low Dose Lidocaine for Refractory Seizures in Preterm Neonates,” which appeared in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics:

The article has been retracted at the request of the authors. After carefully re-examining the data presented in the article, they identified that data of two different hospitals got terribly mixed. The published results cannot be reproduced in accordance with scientific and clinical correctness.

The study has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The article refers to 13 patients at only one hospital, the author’s institution, University-Children’s-Hospital, Friedrich-Alexander-University at Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.

We’ve contacted Raktima Chakrabarti, the corresponding author of the paper, to ask what prompted the re-examination, and will update with anything we learn.

Update, 10:15 a.m. Eastern, 2/4/13: Chakrabarti tells us:

While we tried the medicine (lidocaine) later for the same problem we did not get the same result which led to reexamining the data, and we found that there was some mixture and we wanted, this unwanted error to be rectified which led to our application to retract the article.

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