To describe cases of severe child abuse admitted to PICU. METHODS AND
It is a retrospective study (2000-2008) in which patients diagnosed with physical child abuse admitted to PICU were included.
Other abuse patterns were excluded (severe negligence, sexual abuse or scalding).
There were 8 patients included (3 boys and 5 girls). The median age was 5.2 months, with 6 patients were less than 7 months old.
The most frequent sign was neurological symptoms: seizures (4 patients), subdural haematoma (2 patients), traumatic brain injury (1 patient). Other: haemothorax (1 patient) and cardiac arrest of no known aetiology (1 patient). The CT showed a subdural haematoma in 5 patients, 3 of which needed surgical drainage.
Child abuse was confirmed using the social history and the presence of inflicted injuries.
There were long bones fractures (tibia, ulna and radius, bilateral rib fractures) in 3 patients and 4 patients had retinal haemorrhages.
There was one death and 3 had severe neurological after effects.
Severely abused children can be falsely diagnosed with a casual neurological disease.
The most frequent injury is subdural haematoma with or without another injury associated to child abuse.
It very important to diagnose child abuse in order to prevent recurrent injuries.
Anales de pediatria (Barcelona, Spain : 2003)
Departamento de Cuidados Intensivos, Hospital Universitario Niño Jesús, Madrid, España. arantxarios [at] hotmail.com
An Pediatr (Barc). 2009 Jul;71(1):64-7
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