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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 236904 Find in a Library
Title: Fatal Acute Intracranial Injury, Subdural Hematoma, and Retinal Hemorrhages Caused by Stairway Fall
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:56  Issue:6  Dated:November 2011  Pages:1648-1653
Author(s): Patrick E. Lantz, M.D.; Daniel E. Couture, M.D.
Date Published: November 2011
Page Count: 6
Type: Case Study; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes an infant with an acute subdural hematoma, a fatal head injury, and severe hemorrhagic retinopathy caused by a stairway fall.
Abstract: His cerebral and ocular findings are considered diagnostic of abusive head trauma by many authors. The literature search of serious injuries or fatalities from stairway or low-height falls involving young children yielded 19 articles of primary data. These articles are discrepant, making the classification of a young child’s death following a reported short fall problematic. This case report contradicts the prevalent belief of many physicians dealing with suspected child abuse that low-height falls by young children are without exception benign occurrences and cannot cause fatal intracranial injuries and severe retinal hemorrhages. The irreparable harm to a caregiver facing an erroneous allegation of child abuse requires physicians to thoroughly investigate and correctly classify pediatric accidental head injuries. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Accident investigation; Accident investigation training; Child abuse investigations; Child fatalities
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