Bruising in infants: those with a bruise may be abused

Mary Clyde Pierce, Stacey Smith, Kim Kaczor
Pediatric Emergency Care 2009, 25 (12): 845-7
Bruising in the young infant is rare, and if present, this may be a manifestation of physical child abuse. Early signs of abuse, such as bruising, are often overlooked or their significance goes unrecognized resulting in poor patient outcomes. In such cases, the opportunity to intervene and potentially prevent repeat injury is lost, and the child is placed back in harm's way. This brief report presents 3 cases of nonmobile infants who presented to health care providers with bruising before a subsequent fatal or near-fatal event. These cases emphasize the importance of including abusive trauma in the differential diagnosis of an infant with a bruise or a history of easy bruising and the importance of initiating a thorough trauma evaluation immediately and concomitantly with any other workup for the causes of bruising in the noncruising infant.

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