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Predicting abusive head trauma in children
  1. Ffion Davies
  1. Emergency Department, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ffion Davies, Emergency Department, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK; Ffion.davies{at}

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Diagnostic reasoning in emergency medicine is like a jigsaw. With clinical experience we refine and balance information with the right degree of weight, hoping to ‘get it right’ while avoiding unnecessary delays, tests or harms. The stakes are high if we are considering child abuse. False positive or negative conclusions bring uncomfortable or even deadly consequences. High profile cases may make us anxious about getting involved, but we must, it is our job.

The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) research network examines the performance of the PredAHT-21 2 clinical prediction rule for abusive head trauma (AHT) in under 3 year olds in this EMJ article.3 The reason for this age cut-off is that we know that the vast majority of AHT occurs in infants.4–9 The patients included all had abnormal CT head scans and an …

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  • Contributors FD is the sole contributor to this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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