Caught Our Notice: A paper mistakenly ID’d a patient. Its retraction notice did, too. (Oops!)

What Caught Our Attention: Last year, a journal retracted a paper about a child who developed a rare complication related to the inherited disorder Gaucher Disease, after realizing it had inadvertently identified the child. It wasn’t an immediately obvious mistake — the authors listed the drugs the patient was taking, and in the case of one drug, there was only one child in the world taking it. For anyone in the know, that would make the child’s identity clear.

So retracting the paper makes sense — but publishing a retraction notice that spells out the issue in detail, including the name of the drug and the fact the patient was the only pediatric recipient, did not. So last month, the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology corrected the retraction notice, removing the name of the drug. (Phew.)

The original paper remains online with the “retracted” watermark on each page; the article doesn’t appear to mention the name of the drug. Since the original retraction notice stipulates the paper included the drug, it’s possible the text has been changed.

Title: Massive Mesenteric Lymphadenopathy Causing Protein-losing Enteropathy in Gaucher Disease

Journal: Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Authors: Ewan A Simpson, Matthew R F Jaring, Savvas Andronikou

Affiliations: Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, UK; University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

The Notice:

In the retraction notice that appeared on page e302 of the July 2017 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the name of the drug from the retracted article was mentioned. The name of the drug has been removed from the retraction notice online in order to protect patient privacy.

Date of Article: July 2017

Times Cited, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science:   1 (by the retraction notice)

Date of Retraction Notice: July 2017

Date of Correction to Retraction Notice: April 2018

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