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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1999 Mar;20(1):48-51.

Late-form hemorrhagic disease of the newborn: a fatal case report with illustration of investigations that may assist in avoiding the mistaken diagnosis of child abuse.

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Department of Forensic Pathology, Medico-Legal Centre, Sheffield, UK.


Hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN) is usually a self-limiting hemorrhagic disorder of childhood that occurs as a result of vitamin K deficiency. It may be defined as early or late form depending on the time of onset related to birth. HDN is recognized as one of several bleeding disorders that can mimic the findings of nonaccidental head injury and may lead to a mistaken diagnosis of child abuse. We present a single fatal case of late-onset HDN with illustration of hematologic assays that can be performed to assist the pathologist in making the correct diagnosis of HDN.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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