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Detection of non-accidental injuries presenting at emergency departments


Objectives: To investigate whether cases of possible non-accidental injury as identified using five risk indicators give rise to any subjective concerns of child abuse.

Methods: Questionnaires were completed by the triage nurse and attending doctor for every child attending the general hospitals of the North Western Health Board, with an injury, during a six month period. The questionnaires included an assessment of subjective concerns about the injury occurrence and five risk indicators of child abuse.

Results: Children presenting with an injury who had two or more positive indicators failed to raise subjective concerns in the attending emergency department staff.

Conclusions: The introduction of a policy of identifying positive indicators from the five risk indicators of child abuse needs additional computer support within emergency departments.

  • childhood accidents
  • non-accidental injuries

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