Oral bleeding: Child abuse alert

J Paediatr Child Health. 2002 Oct;38(5):528-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2002.00049.x.


Physicians must be aware of histories, behaviours and physical findings of maltreated children. We report two cases of physical child abuse in which the initial symptom was oral bleeding. In both cases, the diagnosis was delayed and was made only after severe injuries were inflicted. Injuries to the oral cavity and oral bleeding of uncertain origin in infants should be considered seriously and should be carefully assessed in relation to adequacy of history to explain the mechanism of injury. When an infant has been injured and no adequate explanation is available to account for the mechanism, inflicted injury must be suspected and evaluated, so that in cases of child maltreatment, diagnosis and protection of the child from further injury can take place as early as possible.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Fathers
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Oral Hemorrhage / etiology*