Abusive head trauma: two case reports

Turk Pediatri Ars. 2015 Sep 1;50(3):180-4. doi: 10.5152/TurkPediatriArs.2015.1293. eCollection 2015 Sep.


Abusive head trauma is a serious form of child abuse and mostly seen in infants below the age of two years as a result of a strong shaking by the caregiver who aims to stop the infant's crying. Characteristic symptoms include subdural hematomas, encephalopathy, retinal hemorrhages and fractures of the long bones. When physically examined, there are generally no externally visible signs. For this reason, it can be underdiagnosed, if it is not considered in the differential diagnosis. When the information provided from the parents is inconsistent and contradictory with the clinical picture of the patient, this form of abuse must be suspected and retinal hemorrhages should be searched. In this article, two patients who were admitted to our emergency department and diagnosed with physical child abuse are reported. One of these patients had a history of minor head trauma after falling down from the sofa and the other one had a history of breathlessness and loss of consciousness as a result of excessive crying.

Keywords: Child abuse; head trauma; retinal hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports