Medicolegal evaluation in terms of physical abuse of children aged 0-3 years presenting at the emergency department with brain hemorrhage

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2022 Dec;29(1):105-108. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2022.06730.


Background: Physical abuse of children covers all types of non-accidental and preventable physical violence and injury perpetrated by the caregiver.

Methods: The study included children in the 0-3 years age group who presented at the Emergency Department (ED) with the finding of intracranial hemorrhage during the 5-year period of 2017-2021. These children were evaluated retrospectively, and findings that should be considered were revealed.

Results: In the 32 cases included in the study, the most common cranial finding was subdural hematoma, and the most common extracranial finding was ecchymoses. Presentation at the ED was seen to be 2 days after the trauma in 9.37% of the cases.

Conclusion: Any physician who encounters findings related to physical abuse of a child must make a forensic and social services report. Physicians who do not make the necessary reports or act to the contrary have both a legal and moral responsibility in the subsequent process.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Hematoma, Subdural / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Physical Abuse*
  • Retrospective Studies