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NCJ Number: 201559 Find in a Library
Title: Coronal Cleft Vertebra Initially Suspected as an Abusive Fracture in an Infant
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:July 2003  Pages:836-838
Author(s): Patricia A. Aronica-Pollak M.D.; Vincent H. Stefan Ph.D.; Jerri McLemore M.D.
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on a case study of suspected child abuse in the death of a 4-month old male infant.
Abstract: The investigation of any unexplained infant death must include a full skeletal survey to detect any possible trauma, especially trauma resulting from possible child abuse. The authors describe the case of a 4-month old male infant who was found unresponsive in his crib and died 4 days after hospitalization. During his hospitalization he was diagnosed by radiography with a fracture of the third lumbar vertebra. It was at first presumed to be abusive in nature. However, autopsy examination failed to discover the presence of a fracture. Instead, a defect in the development of the vertebral bodies was discovered. The diagnoses shifted to a possible failure of the notochord to regress. After a full investigation, the death was ruled as sudden infant death syndrome; all autopsies were negative for child abuse trauma. The authors present this case study as a cautionary tale against the overzealous identification of any spinal abnormality as resulting from child abuse. References
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse detection
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