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Int J Legal Med. 2006 Mar;120(2):73-8. Epub 2005 Jul 13.

A multicentre and prospective study of suspected cases of child physical abuse.

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Service de Médecine Légale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Hopital Lapeyronie, Avenue du Doyen Gaston Giraud, 34295 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France.


In this multicentre prospective study, the authors aim to describe the social and clinical characteristics of a population of children who arrived with a suspicion of physical abuse at five Emergency Services across France and who underwent clinical and thorough radiological screening according to a common predetermined protocol. A total of 185 cases of children seen at the Emergency units of five French hospitals over a 4-year period was assessed via a specific protocol and included in this study. The results of this study show socio-cultural factors consistent with previous reports on abused populations, and in particular give interesting data concerning the type and severity of lesions present, on the whole, in 80% of the population studied. In particular this study revealed a high prevalence (30%) of bone fractures. Apart from giving a perspective on the French population, this study adds some information to the too few preexisting studies of its kind-and stresses the importance of effective identification of possible cases of child abuse and of a thorough and sensitive screening protocol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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