Medical Practice

Mistakes in diagnosing non-accidental injury: 10 years' experience

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.296.6631.1233 (Published 30 April 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1233
  1. David M Wheeler,
  2. Christopher J Hobbs

    Abstract

    Fifty children who were referred to the child abuse team in Leeds over the 10 years 1976-86 with suspected non-accidental injury were found to have conditions which mimicked non-accidental injury. These included impetigo (nine children) and blue spots (five children). Five children who presented with multiple bruising had haemostatic disorders. Eight children had disorders of the bone. Five children had been previously abused physically. Four showed evidence of neglect. One had evidence of non-accidental injury as well as the condition mimicking abuse.

    It is emphasised that when child abuse is suspected a sensitive and thorough assessment should be carried out by a paediatrician who is experienced in this.

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