PEM Source

Your source for all things Pediatric Emergency Medicine


Question: Abuse

(Click the link to comment and to vote – voting not working through email, sorry!)

Which of the following is LEAST likely to be a sentinel injury for non-accidental trauma (child abuse) in a 4mo old?

pemsou5_wp • May 12, 2020

Previous Post

Next Post


  1. Kelly May 16, 2020 - 11:13 pm Reply

    A) A linear scratch on the cheek
    Sentinel injuries are defined as visible / detectable, minor injuries that are associated with non-accidental trauma (child abuse). Examples include: bruises on pre-mobile children, bruises in the TEN regions (torso, ears, neck) ie not over bony prominences, frenula tears, genital injuries, unexplained fractures and burns. Retinal hemorrhages in infants are associated with non-accidental head trauma. Subconjunctival hemorrhages may occur during childbirth, or from coughing or vomiting, but may also be a sentinel injury, particularly in children < 24 months old (8.6% rate of diagnosed abuse found in Lindberg DM et al Pediatrics 2015;136(5):831-8). Babies whose nails are not trimmed regularly may frequently scratch themselves, and minor abrasions and skin reddening are not considered sentinel injuries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *