Radiologic Imaging In Child Abuse

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Abstract
Trauma remains the most common source of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population, and is the number one cause of death for children older than 1 year in age. The medical community, law enforcement, and child protective services have developed a greater awareness of and the sensitivity to the diagnosis of child abuse, and a more aggressive approach toward the identification and prosecution of offending individuals. Radiologic imaging plays a key role in the diagnosis of child abuse. The imaging has evolved with the advent of nuclear medicine, ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These imaging modalities helps to provide evidence for the prosecution or defense of offenders by understanding
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Physical child abuse is physical injury inflicted upon the child with cruel and/or malicious intent. Physical abuse can be the result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise harming a child physically. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the role of imaging in child abuse is to “identify the extent of physical injury when abuse is present and to elucidate all imaging findings that point to alternative diagnoses” (Kaplan, 2016). Battered child syndrome, shaken infant syndrome, stress-related infant abuse, and non-accidental trauma are all terms used to describe non-accidental injuries in infants and young children as a result of abuse (Robben, …show more content…
Since as many as 65% of all abuse cases are initially seen in the emergency room, the first step in correctly identifying abuse is to train hospital staff members to recognize abuse indicators. A high degree of suspicion, inability to explain the degree of injury, or a reported mechanism of injury, that is inconsistent with the physical findings and/or given history should alert the radiologist to possible inflicted injury (Kuhn et al., 2003). Abused children are rarely brought to medical attention with an accurate history. It is essential for the radiologist to document findings, to stop further abuse, and to protect other siblings. The pediatric radiologist’s role is to determine if the injuries can happen with the history given (Kaplan, 2016). The ability to identify child abuse constitutes an important concern to those involved in the medical care of children. Physicians are mandated to report all suspected cases of child abuse to the appropriate authorities. Often in a position to initially suspect child abuse, the radiologist must be aware of the various forms of injuries from child abuse. Additionally, a radiologist with specialized knowledge in the field of pediatric radiology may provide expert medical opinions to child protection and law enforcement agencies. A protocol for imaging suspected abuse

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