Emergency department evaluation of child abuse.

TitleEmergency department evaluation of child abuse.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLeetch AN, Woolridge D
JournalEmerg Med Clin North Am
Date Published2013 Aug
ISSN Number1558-0539
KeywordsBurns, Child, Child Abuse, Child Abuse, Sexual, Child, Preschool, Contusions, Craniocerebral Trauma, Emergency Service, Hospital, Fractures, Bone, Humans, Infant, Physical Examination, Risk Factors

Child abuse presents commonly to emergency departments. Emergency providers are confronted with medical, social, and legal dilemmas with each case. A solid understanding of the definitions and risk factors of victims and perpetrators aids in identifying abuse cases. Forensic examination should be performed only after the child is medically stable. Emergency providers are mandatory reporters of a reasonable suspicion of abuse. The role of the emergency provider is to identify abuse, facilitate a thorough investigation, treat medical needs, protect the patient, provide an unbiased medical consultation to law enforcement, and to provide an ethical testimony if called to court.

Alternate JournalEmerg. Med. Clin. North Am.
PubMed ID23915607
Faculty Reference: 
Aaron N. Leetch, MD, FACEP
Dale Woolridge, MD, PhD